After the deluge of water through the apartment and temporary relocation, a visitor from Australia, two trips to Boston, and a whole lot of study, I got kind of side tracked these past few weeks. So here are my well overdue thoughts on ‘homecoming’ week. What on earth is it all about?
Homecoming is the tradition of welcoming back alumni of a school. It most commonly refers to a tradition in many universities, colleges and high schools in the United States. It usually includes activities for students and alumni, such as sports and culture events and a parade through the streets of the city or town.
But in the interests of thorough research, after all I am an ‘academic researcher’ now, I sought out out a few additional sources.
Female student 1: It’s when we celebrate school spirit.
Female student 2: It’s when the alumni all come back to tailgate.
Now while these responses helped me get my head around homecoming, it was this male student’s answer that lead to my ‘ah-ha’ moment.
Male student: It’s when we invite a school who is worse than us at football to play a match, so we can beat them and then celebrate how awesome we are.
The beauty of this last observation is that, for the second year running mind you, we lost the homecoming football match. We couldn’t even topple the ‘easy-beat’ school. But don’t truck in the counsellors just yet. Thankfully our institutional self-confidence gets a healthy booster from our basketball teams.
Across homecoming week, here is what I saw, heard and avoided.
The 2013 homecoming theme. Apparently every party needs a theme over here.
This photo, which appears on the university’s homecoming webpage, reflects what they want you to think the homecoming parade looks like.
But it actually looked like this. The ratio of performers to spectators was about 25:1
While I wandered past the parade, and I went to the homecoming tailgate party and football match, there was also a whole range of associated homecoming events that I missed. These included:
- Banner competition
- The Lip Sync competition
- Car Chalking
- Royalty Pageant & Alma Mater Sing
In researching this blog, I came across the rules for each of these ‘competitions’ and I was amazed at the level of detail. Homecoming events here have a highly regulated series of competition rules and guidelines. I guess in this litigious society you can never be too careful. Someone may fall over, or the wrong frat house may mistakenly get the lip sync trophy on their mantle for the next 12 months. And don’t even get me started on the trouble that could brew if Jenna misses out on the Homecoming Royalty Court finals.
So to return to the question: what is homecoming all about?
A chance for undergraduates to dress up, sing, dance, parade and generally have fun celebrating their youth and awesomeness.
A chance for the Greek Life students* to prove their superiority over other Greek Life students.
But really, homecoming is simply a really long pre-match show for the football team.
*the alpha, gamma, epsilon folk for those of you who haven’t read this blog with a fine-tooth comb.
The 2013 homecoming results
And the Winners Are…
1st Place: Alpha Epsilon Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Tau Kappa Epsilon
2nd Place: Delta Zeta, Sigma Chi
3rd Place: Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Delta Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon
1st Place: Asian American Cultural Center
2nd Place: African American Cultural Center
3rd Place: UConn Marching Band, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma
Non Fee-Funded Organizations
1st Place: UConn Irish
2nd Place: Global House
3rd Place: Student Alumni Association