Opinion necessary improvements for homecoming 2021

By James Stein Oct 8, 2021
Photo Courtesy of Illinois Wesleyan
Photo Courtesy of Illinois Wesleyan

When I think back on high school, one of my favorite memories is attending homecoming festivities. The spirit week where you dressed up in pajamas, the football game, and the dance. It did not matter if the DJ was bad or if your team didn’t win, it was genuinely fun and something you wanted to participate in. This year, as a sophomore in college, I was less than impressed with our homecoming at Illinois Wesleyan. 

To kick things off, there was the Stuff N’ Plush event on Wednesday which was a favorite of many students. But, the organization was poorly planned; people arrived as early as an hour prior to the start time to snag a place in line. CAB (Campus Activities Board) posted on their social media that although this was originally a multi-session event, Stuff N’ Plush would be first come first serve due to the amount of interest from students. For myself, this was a deterrent for attending the event, considering last year when I attended, they ran out of supplies about ten people ahead of me. I assume this had the same effect on others, considering CAB later ended up posting saying they still had leftover plushes to be stuffed.

Dancefest, where fraternities, sororities and the Cypher Dance Team competed for fun and fame took place on Thursday night. Quite honestly, this was the only event I had minimal issues with. All the dances were really fun to watch and it seemed like all the participants had fun doing it. There was free food from Tommy’s, as well as the opening of a 100-year old time capsule. Unfortunately, whoever was in charge of setting up, underestimated just how many people would attend. Although there were chairs set up, many people stood or sat in the grass, due to the limited seats filling up so quickly.

The Pizza Taste has always been a favorite, due to the overwhelming amount of free food. This year there was a performance by singer Conor Clemsons. The issue here was not the pizza or Mr. Clemons, but the timing. The Pizza Taste was scheduled from 6 pm to 7 pm, while the live music performance was not to go on until 8 pm. Judging by a video from my friend who attended the performance, not many people stuck around for it. Perhaps next time the live music and the food portion should be at the same time.

Homecoming would simply not be homecoming without a good old fashioned football game. First off, congratulations to the Titans for winning! The issue with the football game is not the game itself, the rainy weather, or the overall lack of masks and social distancing. But the communication about the game was an issue. I had several freshmen reach out asking about the cost of attendance and what time it was scheduled. While the time was listed online, you have to dig deep on the IWU website to find out athletic games are free to students. 

Homecoming, although not bad or good, was just pretty “eh”. Communication, organization, and event set up were all issues that could have easily been avoided. One can only hope that in the coming years, it will only get better.

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