Lack of participation in Represent Middletown causes cancellation

Clara Taft, Staff Writer

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Represent Middletown, formerly known as Mr. Middletown, has been canceled due to a lack of participants. It was set to take place on January 25.

Represent Middletown is a competition in which participants are judged in comedic events such as formal wear, casual wear, and a talent competition. The event has been a long-running fundraiser at the high school but has not occurred in the past few years for various reasons.

This year, the rules were modified to allow female students to participate, as well as the male students who have traditionally participated.

The name was changed to include these participants. Jillian Kellogg, the advisor of Represent Middletown and acting teacher, said that they made the shift to include male and female students in order to “make it more equitable to the entire school.”

The minimum number of participants required was ten people, but only four signed up and no one attended the informational meeting.

Rose Romano, a senior who helped organize Represent Middletown, believes including girls may have caused the low participation. She said, “I think a lot of people were turned away because they didn’t want it to be both genders.”

Kellogg agrees that many people chose not to compete because of the change and also said, “There was a swim meet the day of the competition, and it’s usually the swim team that competes in the contest.”

Many students are upset that Mr. Middletown was replaced by Represent Middletown. One student who wishes to remain anonymous said, “Mr. Middletown used to be a fun, goofy thing for senior boys to do. It wasn’t meant to exclude the girls. It was fine the way it was.”

Other students support the change. Michael Flynn, a junior, said, “I think it’s great and it’s important that there’s equality in all things.” He, however, agrees that many students are against the change and thinks that is a reason not many people signed up. He said, “When the announcement was made on Bluetube, I remember hearing from people about it, and they were [saying]… ‘it’s called Mr. Middletown for a reason.’”

Next year, Represent Middletown will be hosted by either the Drama Club or the National Honor Society. In order to increase participation next year, Kellogg said that she would consider allowing juniors to participate. In the past, only seniors have been able to take part.

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