Thirty years of tradition, with a bit of twist. This year’s Homecoming will have many of its time-honored events revamped, said Dawn Stanton-Holmes, assistant director of Student Life and University Programming.
“There’s always a pep rally, dance, football game and family tent,” said Holmes. “What is new is the spirit rally for parents during the Homecoming Parade. There may be a couple performances by the step team and marching band to rally up the parents and teach them team cheers so they can feel like Southern Owls too.”
Before and during the Owls football game against Bentley College, Holmes said parents would be able to eat under the family tent, which this year will be almost double the size of previous years.
“The tent will be free this year, and there will be clam chowder, hot dogs, burgers and hot and cold beverages,” said Holmes. “We’re thinking about using circular tables in the tent because I think sitting in a circle facilitates more conversation.”
The Homecoming theme, “Southern State of Mind,” which is a tribute to the city of New York, was the culmination of months of deliberation and brainstorming within the special events committee which began last semester, said Holmes.
“The committee is a team of about 10 to 15 students from Greek Life, the IRC, Programs Council and Student Government Association,” said Holmes. “These organizations are the funding, planners and the facilitators of Homecoming.”
This year’s theme will be the most evident at the Student Center Ballroom’s nightclub dance, said Holmes.
“It’s going to be hosted by DJ Big Mann from Hot 93.7,” said Holmes. “There’s going to be real bartenders mixing up non-alcoholic drinks, as well as lights and maybe fog. It’s going to make students feel like they’re in a New York nightclub.”
Holmes said that the Robert Corda 5k Road Race is open to Southern students, their families and the public.
“What is really interesting is that last year, our youngest runner was under eight years old and the oldest was 70; we had to create an entirely new category for him,” said Holmes.
Erica Duguay, a junior nursing major, said she was most excited for the football game.
“My whole family loves sports, so to be able to spend time with both my friends and family during the football game is going to be really exciting,” said Duguay.
Katie Plickys, a junior nursing major, said she feels similar to Duguay, however is hesitant about the intensity of school spirit here at Southern.
“Whenever I visit my boyfriend or a friend’s school, literally everyone is wearing their school’s team sweater, painting their faces and anticipating the game,” said Plickys. “I just want that kind of school spirit
Homecoming week was set to include a performance by musician John Legend, said Holmes.
“Because of scheduling conflicts, we couldn’t schedule it the week of homecoming,” said Holmes. “But we didn’t want to miss this phenomenal opportunity for an artist that would usually cost $150,000 agree to come for $50,000, so we moved the concert to Oct. 28.”
To get a complete list of dates and times for Homecoming’s scheduled events, Holmes said she encourages students to go to Southern’s website and search Homecoming.