In preparation for SRU Homecoming 2017, senior early childhood education major and CORE street team member Abby Heidt and junior early childhood education major and First-Year Leader Scholar Program (FYRST) peer mentor Kelly Lane are looking toward getting the campus excited for new events and more opportunities for involvement. As Homecoming co-chairs, Lane and Heidt are part of a committee which also includes a few graduate assistants and spokespeople from every club participating, as well as faculty and staff members. By including more students in the preparation for Homecoming, Heidt hopes it will encourage more students to participate, because students know what students want.
“We’re trying to make Homecoming more fun and get more students involved,” Heidt said. “I really have never gone to Homecoming because, for me, it seemed like only certain clubs and organizations did it.”
Heidt wants more students who usually don’t get involved on campus to have the opportunity to partake in the festivities and start having more school spirit.
Lane, who worked on the parade in 2016, said she had some knowledge about Homecoming week as a whole, but also noticed that it was always the same clubs and organizations participating in the parade and Paint the Town every year. She and Heidt felt they should make sure all clubs know about the events and the participation possibilities, especially those that traditionally don’t participate in Homecoming, so everyone can feel more included.
“A lot of clubs have a lot to offer the campus, and Homecoming is the time to show that off,” Lane said.
Some of the possible events this year may include a lip-sync battle, spirit boards in the quad, a glow party and a more activity-oriented tailgate before the football game Saturday, which Lane said is always the biggest day of the week.
Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Lauren Moran said Lane and Heidt have already been working hard to make Homecoming more student-oriented and to provide more leadership opportunities. Moran said the two have a good perspective for the future of Homecoming, and she thinks it will keep getting better as the years go on.
Heidt mentioned that Homecoming this year will be more difficult because the week technically begins over fall break, so on-campus festivities won’t start until Wednesday, but she and Lane are hoping that, by starting this transition with a shorter week, it’ll be easier to come up with events for the upcoming years.
Lane said that by planning that far ahead, traditions may be more likely to stick, like the spirit boards, for example.
“If the spirit boards turn out to be really enjoyable for a lot of people, we can come back after graduation and say, ‘oh, they still do the spirit boards, that’s so cool,'” Lane said.
This year, the theme for Homecoming is ‘Rock the World,’ which will be a tribute to musical artists, and the week will be centered around music. The official dates for Homecoming are Oct. 10 through Oct. 15, and as the weeks go by, the Homecoming committee will release a save-the-date style schedule of events, keeping everything under wraps but building the suspense and excitement for the week.