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For most schools, high school homecoming is a two-day event: the football game on Friday and the dance on Saturday. The game is often filled with students and the parents of the players and homecoming court. The dance is all about the glamour. Most people want a date, an expensive dress or outfit, nails and hair done, along with the perfect spot for dinner.
College homecoming is a whole different story; it is all about the game. It normally includes a week-long layout of events leading up to the big day. The week’s main purpose is to get hype and school spirit up.
However, doesn’t college homecoming (at least at Radford) seem less of a spectacle then what we saw high school? It’s more of a laid-back affair. Most schools have barbeque lunches on the weekend before the big event; games like corn-hole, ladder ball and tug of war are played all in a very casual atmosphere most days of the week, a constant reminder that this is the week to celebrate where you go to college. Here, though, for most students it seems, unless you are directly involved in an event related to the big week, you have little interest – if you even know it is going on.
Why is this common theme among Radford’s students? Is it the lack of a football team? There isn’t a dance? Not enough advertising? Students already have had four years of the charades? Maybe it’s because college homecoming is more for the alumni.
Even the website that Radford has posted seems to be directed more toward alumni. In bold it says, “All alumni are invited to take a walk down memory lane while enjoying the beauty of campus for a winter celebration.”
The website also contains a “what alumni are saying” section. It shows an “Alumni Teaching Day past participant” section that is followed by a quote from Alumni of ’09 Emily Williamson: “I’m thankful for the experiences and opportunities I had at RU because I would not have been as successful professionally without them.” It also has a Highlander Polar Plunge past participant, Frank Fitzgerald, 81, who said, “It was a lot of fun and created some great camaraderie in our group, and of course it’s always such a good thing to raise money for the Special Olympics.”
What about the current students? We encourage you to get more involved next year. Make homecoming more about the current students. We’re the ones who need more school spirit; we need to fall in love with the school all over again.