IWU’s first ‘normal’ Homecoming, what is it good for?

By Farah Bassyouni Sep 22, 2022

                                                                   Caption: IWU 2019 Homecoming, pre-pandemic

                                                                   Credit: Illinois Wesleyan University

After two years of not celebrating Homecoming Weekend due to Covid-19, Illinois Wesleyan is finally having its first Homecoming & Family weekend Sept 23-25. IWU sent an email to students on Monday, Sep 19 with a schedule filled with events and celebrations all planned. But for students who have only had a post-pandemic college experience, homecoming weekend doesn’t hold much value. 

According to the Illinois Wesleyan Homecoming website, this weekend is meant to “gather together again in the Fall for a weekend full of IWU Spirit, fun and connection.” Alumni, family members and students are invited to attend guest speaker events, sports games and the TGOE Fest where there will be fireworks. Additionally, Campus Activities Board will hold a variety of events including a Pizza Taste and a Color Run. But what does Homecoming mean to students who are yet to have a “normal” college?

For some people, homecoming is all about family.  “Homecoming gives my family the opportunity to come see my progress as an independent individual. They’ll get to experience my personal and academic growth,” first-year student Alexis Saizan said. 

“Coming home is being able to see your family in a place where you built your home,”  third-year Jezuete Lafuente said. Others were not as enthusiastic. “Do we get class off?” one student asked. When informed that students do not get class off for Homecoming, he responded with “then what’s the point?

Some students associate Homecoming with fond highschool memories, before the pandemic took place. “In highschool it was fun, we got to dress up and build floats and have parades. Here it’s just a set of time where nothing really happens for students,” second-year Liam Killian said. There are students who are excited to attend all the events lined up, and see the weekend as an opportunity to have a good time with their friends. 

“I’m excited about Homecoming because this is a time to relax and do all of the fun activities planned for the weekend,” said third-year student Tatiana Sykes. 

Amanda Victoria Balaba, a second-year international student, agrees. “I’m particularly excited for the sports games since I haven’t been able to go to a lot the past year, and Homecoming is a great time to watch them with friends,” she said. 

Senior and Vice-President of Student Senate J.D Barrett describes Homecoming as a “magical time on campus”. He said “it is the time that alumni and current students come together to celebrate what it means to be a Titan. Since it will be the first normal homecoming since Fall of 2019, it will truly become a full circle for us seniors”

 

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