Homecoming confronts student apathy

Anna Nguyen

Each year when Homecoming approaches, some students eagerly get involved in the week-long events, while others voice disappointment in the entire Homecoming system.
The Homecoming committee is trying to overcome those disillusioned sentiments.
Homecoming’s co-directors, advertising senior Jill Stalpes and biology senior Sue Denzer, said they have seen increased involvement in the past three years since being members of the Homecoming Executive Committee.
Students from each class and different organizations comprise the 12-member committee.
“It’s no longer a greek thing. We do what we can to accommodate the needs of all students,” Staples said.
The committee sent out a press release packet to all student organizations at the beginning of the school year. In addition to the Greek community, the eight residential halls and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Nordic Ski Team registered to compete in events this year.
The committee has also sent e-mails, advertised in the Daily, and hung flyers throughout campus to attract other students.
Students not competing in events can attend the events and other activities such as St. Paul Day throughout the 10 days of Homecoming.
“We will be giving away a lot of prizes,” Denzer said.
Despite their efforts, the sheer size of the University population remains an obstacle for the committee. Many students do not know what type of Homecoming events exist.
Geoff Anderson, an economics junior, said he felt the activities were poorly advertised. He did not know what other events he could participate in besides the football game.
“I could care less about the royalty. I just want to go to the game,” he said.
Computer science freshman Dave Carlson suggested more students would attend events if free food was offered, not knowing that some events actually had free lunches.
Loria Quaid, an English, art, and sociology of criminology major found Homecoming uninteresting.
“It is not a lot of people’s priorities unless their crowd is involved in sports or has friends in sports,” she said.
Sam Adriae, a freshman physics major, pointed out that not all students attend the University to promote school spirit.
“We come here to learn and receive an education,” he said.”We’re not here to participate in the concept of school unity. It is in such a large school and not everybody likes football.”
Other students felt the fraternities and sororities dominate Homecoming events and said they would likely feel awkward if they chose to participate.
“I feel ashamed, completely ashamed. I feel as though I have no one to fraternize with”, said psychology junior Josh Gefroh.
Nate Deno, a finance and information systems major and president of Beta Theta Pi, said his fraternity is heavily involved in Homecoming because it is a tradition for their fraternity and they have the people available to create the teams to compete in the group events.
“If you’re not part of an organization there is less motivation to win,” he said. “Having more events that are not as competitive could be one way to involve more students.”
Denzer and Staples said they encourage all students to attend events because they are fun and they bring everyone together in a light-hearted atmosphere.