Homecoming committee strives to include more student groups

by Pam Steinle

To counter the perception of Homecoming as a greek and residence hall event, the University is reaching out to the campus this year, inciting all student groups to participate.

Increasing campus involvement was a major goal for members of this year’s Homecoming Planning Committee, said Burton Friedman, the committee’s co-coordinator.

“Homecoming is such a big thing, and res halls and greeks are involved. Why can’t others get involved?” said greek coordinator Megan Prifrel.

This is the first year the Africana Student Cultural Center will be involved with Homecoming.

“We felt this is something we needed to do,” said ASCC member Tommy Giwa. “Blacks need to be represented more.”

While some student groups have been involved in previous years, this is the first time the planning committee established a coordinator to focus on student group involvement.

The main challenge for student group coordinator Kate Merkel was informing student groups of this new opportunity, she said.

The novelty of the situation explains why many student groups aren’t participating, Merkel said. She said she believes it will take a year or two before student groups get more involved.

The student group focus is also promising because normally Homecoming is connected with greeks, said royalty coordinator Abbey Wolfman.

Homecoming has always been promoted as a campus-wide event, but “not many people take advantage of it,” Wolfman said. “I think a lot of people are intimidated by the greek system.”

Friedman said that although the committee tries to involve more people, they do enjoy greek and residence hall participation.

“I hope the University appreciates participation by the greeks,” said Friedman, a fraternity measure.

He said the quality of their parade floats is a positive example of greek involvement.

Homecoming 2001 events

“Our goals for Homecoming were to keep up the traditions, promote school spirit and get the campus and community involved,” Friedman said.

He said he hopes to increase team spirit at the annual Friday night pepfest by featuring coaches and players from a variety of sports, including football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Also new this year is Movie Showcase, which will precede Wednesday’s free outdoor movie. The showcase is a collection of five- to seven-minute amateur movies submitted by Homecoming participants.

Flag football debuted this year, replacing soccer. Coed rules give teams nine points for a touchdown involving a girl in the play, and they must be involved in every other completed play.

Members of the Homecoming Planning Committee suggest students check out the Homecoming Parade of Stars on Saturday.

Homecoming is the first priority of Farmhouse member Brett Mattson, a sophomore in Agriculture Business. Unless he has a test or quiz, he said he plans on cutting class to participate in activities.