Opinion | Are homecomings as important as we make them?

Published by Madeline Bundy, Date: October 11, 2021
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Every time fall rolls around, many people on college campus’s get excited and can’t seem to wait for homecoming week to come. Why is that? What is it about homecomings that make everyone super excited?

What’s the purpose of homecoming? Is it just an excuse for everyone to get dressed up, vote for royalty and get hyped up supporting their school and team? The purpose of homecomings is to welcome alumni back to the school to visit. Alumni coming back isn’t the only thing that happens on homecoming week(end). There tends to be a big football game that weekend. In the days leading up to the game, the week is filled with different events. Sometimes, they may tie into a theme, but not always.

Some events that may happen during homecoming week include the following: float building for clubs and organizations that participate in the homecoming parade, campus window wars, paint the town, spirit board painting, pep rallies, fireworks and movie nights. There’s usually a parade the day of the big homecoming game and a block party before the game kicks off. Then, the day after the game, the Greek life on campus tends to clean up any mess that’s left behind.

But what do these events have to deal with alumni coming back to visit? They can’t partake in 90% of the events as they take place during the week and are mainly for students who are enrolled at the school. Out of the list of events, the only things the alumni can partake in are watching the parade, enjoying the block party (if that’s something they like) and watching the game. Why do all these events for the one day that is made for the alumni to come back, but they aren’t able to participate in them? It seems like the events are just for more publicity for the organizations or clubs that participate and the school as a whole.

If homecoming is supposed to be about the alumni coming back, why aren’t there more events centered around and catered to the alumni? Why is it all jammed into one day instead of spreading it out over two or maybe even three days? Some may argue that homecoming is also about the parents who may want to come see their kids, but even then, there isn’t anything really tailored for the parents on this weekend for them, besides the parade. Some colleges have a completely separate weekend for family and friends to visit those who attend the college.

So, what is homecoming really about? Is it an excuse for students to let loose a little bit after working hard for half a semester? Is it a publicity stunt? Or is there no real reason behind it anymore? Did we change it so much from what it used to be that no one really knows what it’s supposed to be anymore?

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