Homecoming changes leave many students ambivalent

Seth Woerhle

This week’s Homecoming departs from the traditional schedule because of the Twins’ playoff appearance, but most students interviewed in Dinkytown seem to have accepted the changes.

The Gophers were originally scheduled to play Illinois on Oct. 5 and Northwestern on Oct. 12. After being edged out of the Metrodome by the Twins, the University rescheduled the games for 7 p.m. Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

As a result, the Homecoming parade – typically used as an excuse by Gopher fans to celebrate from its 10 a.m. start to the afternoon football game – will be held two days after the game.

At Dinkytown Wine and Spirits, sports fans took a break from the Twins’ third game against Oakland on Friday to pick up beverages. Their comments ranged from mild concern to complete indifference.

“It’s tradition,” said journalism senior Ashley Hill. “What is there to do after the parade now?”

“It kind of sucks that the game was switched to Thursday, but the Twins are doing well, so I guess I don’t care,” said Jon Hadden, a pre-law junior. “The parade will still be fun and everyone will still be out there.”

Shelly Nelson, director of campus-wide programs and activities in the Student Activities Office, said the parade was kept on Saturday to provide an event for visiting parents and alumni, some of which might not be able to attend Thursday’s game.

“From what I understand, this schedule is very similar to what happened when the Twins were in the playoffs for the 1987 World Series,” Nelson said.

At the Purple Onion coffee shop, two advertising students were apathetic.

“I don’t really have any passionate feelings about it,” said senior Jen Erickson. But she did feel strongly about having midterms on the Friday of Homecoming Week, a practice she said was sad and should be stopped.

Her study partner, Brent Westra, admitted he had yet to make it to a Homecoming parade.

“Every year I’ve been in school, I’ve tried to make the parade and I’m zero for three,” Westra said. “Every (Homecoming Week) Friday night I say, ‘I’m making it to the parade this year,’ and every Saturday morning I wake up in a daze and I’ve missed it.”

Beyond having the game before the parade, other changes were made to the Homecoming Week schedule. The Homecoming ball was cancelled this year due to lack of interest, and a new Gopher athletic showcase event and dating game in the style of MTV’s “Singled Out” were added.