As Slippery Rock University has transitioned back to in-person classes and events the SRU Student Office of Engagement and Leadership has worked to partner with other offices, organizations and clubs for an “out of this world” 2021 homecoming.
Homecoming 2021 events will occur from Oct. 12 through Oct. 17. Throughout the planning process, COVID-19 precautions have been taken into consideration as SRU students and alumni plan for a full schedule of events, parades, tailgates and more.
Courtney Gross, homecoming steering committee chair, has the main responsibility for this year’s homecoming: the parade. Gross said that the office has had higher standards for the parade floats and has worked to make the parade more enjoyable.
The homecoming parade consists of fraternities and sororities, various organizations, sports teams on campus and community members such as breweries and high school teams.
Gross spoke on some of the struggles of planning in-person homecoming this year.
“The biggest struggle we have had to deal with is contacting people to come participate,” Gross said. “Also trying to decide where we want to host events so that we can have more people and not have to worry about masks. Trying to follow the regulations the university has, has been difficult but our advisors are really good about knowing the procedures.”
Anna Chiprean, homecoming steering committee co-chair, assists Gross in homecoming duties and is responsible for overseeing the royalty and communicating with other organizations who are involved in homecoming. Chiprean spoke on the number of homecoming nominations and students running for royalty.
“A lot of people were super excited because we are in person this year and we were able to spread the word,” Chiprean said. “They are able to actually advertise who they are and come to events. I would say it’s better that we are in person.”
Voting for homecoming royalty will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. on CORE. At this point, those who have been nominated for the homecoming royalty can begin advertising themselves to gain awareness and votes.
The first homecoming activities are Tuesday, Oct. 12 between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. with Paint the Town and Campus Window Wars. During Paint the Town, Fraternity and Sorority Life will paint windows of various businesses on Main Street to match the theme of homecoming and their own individual themes. Campus Window Wars is the same concept but for organizations on campus.
On Tuesday, from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., the Spirit Board Painting event in The Quad will offer a variety of clubs, organizations, and fraternities and sororities supplies to paint boards to present in The Quad during homecoming week. Organizations and clubs will be able to check in and get supplies the day of.
On Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. in the Smith Student Center (SSC) Ballroom, students can attend the Silent Disco Glow Party. The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership has partnered with the Black Action Society to host a silent disco. At this event, there will be a glow candy bar, glow mini golf and more.
On Thursday, Oct. 14 between 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., students are encouraged to stop by the SSC Bookstore Parking Lot for the Launching Into Homecoming event for giveaways, food, laser tag, live music, tie-dye and a dunk tank. Students who are running for royalty are also welcomed to help with the event and spread their name for votes. This event is partnered with University Program Board (SRUPB).
The Stride for Pride event will also occur Thursday at 12:30 p.m. During this event students will walk together and place pride flags around campus and The Quad.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, SRUPB has also partnered with homecoming committee for the Meteor Mile. During this event students will walk roughly a mile and then enjoy music outside the SSC.
On Friday, Oct. 15 homecoming royalty voting ends at 12 p.m. The homecoming Court will be announced at the Pep Rally starting at 8 p.m. After the Pep Rally, a Fireworks Watch Party will occur followed by the Movie on the Lawn: “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Students are encouraged to bring their own blankets to enjoy the fireworks and movie.
On Saturday, Oct. 16 the homecoming parade will start at 10 a.m. on Main Street. Following the parade, the Rock the Block Tailgate Festival will be outside the Mihalik-Thompson Stadium. Rock Football will play Indiana University of Pennsylvania starting at 1 p.m. During halftime of the game, the homecoming royalty and parade winners will be announced.
As homecoming week comes to a close, Polish the Rock will be at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. During this event, volunteers will meet at The Quad and walk around campus and downtown Slippery Rock, picking up trash.
Students can stay up to date with all homecoming events and activities through the Homecoming page on CORE.