Kudos to the Homecoming Committee for putting on a successful homecoming week. There was an abundance of school spirit this last week with decorations all over campus, including signs painted by several organizations posted along Downs Drive and attractive visuals of Max drawn on dorm and building windows.
The events were not completely new, but the reality TV theme really boosted its popularity because students could show their creative sides. Some of last year’s competitions were “Yell Like Hell,” “Goofy Griffon” and the parade contest. This year, the competitions went by the same guidelines, but the theme made the competitions more interesting because students could be creative in what TV show they wanted to adopt (for example, the SAAC chose “American Gladiators”). The event names were also changed to TV shows—“Griff My Ride,” “Dancing with the Griffs,” “The Amazing Griff Race” and “Last Griffon Standing,” which also changed the outcome of attendance because students knew what to expect from the events since they have seen the shows.
By coming up with the theme of TV shows, the students were able to relate to the topic and become more involved with the events. The number of organizations participating in the homecoming competitions increased a vast amount, and a lot of it had to do with the interesting theme. In turn, with more organizations joining the fun, the events began to bring in a lot of students and therefore create better unity within the school.
A huge turnout always equals success. Last year, maybe half of the student section of the stadium was filled for the “Goofy Griffon” event. Three comedians came to do stand-up last year. Did you know that? Probably not, because it was a struggle to fill the first two rows in Potter Theater. This year several students and faculty attended “Dancing with the Griffs” and “Last Griffon Standing” with comedian Josh Blue performing afterward. The Fieldhouse was packed with people. That’s not all. Fraternities and sororities, SAAC and other organizations were rooting on their teams during the “Griff my Ride” and “The Amazing Griff Race.” We’re talking screaming and clapping and chanting for fellow Griffs. This just goes to show that this year was way more successful than the last, hands down.
None of these events couldn’t have taken place without the hard work of Western’s new faculty advisor Kathy Kelly and her crew. They had been planning all the activities for homecoming since the summer, and it showed. Faculty members were also impressed with the amount of students that helped clean Potter stage. Only anticipating around 100 people to show, they were blown away when members of the different organizations (around 200) swarmed the area, throwing away unwanted things and tidying up the whole area.
While homecoming was a lot better than last year, there are some things that can improve. The timing of homecoming week could’ve been scheduled better, considering the soccer team had an away game and had to miss on a lot of the events. We were also very fortunate with the weather, considering it’s usually really cold during this time of year.
The competitions were also cool, but they could’ve been more competitive. For example, “The Amazing Griff Race” wasn’t really a race. It was more of a sequence of challenges that each organization had to go through, one at a time. “Minute to Win it” would’ve been a better choice because it is more intense: A team might not get to move on if it doesn’t succeed in the challenge, plus the audience would get to know who the winner was right away. It was interesting to see people cheering for a race when, in reality, the teams were just completing tasks.
Along with the events, some students were “overwhelmed” with the amount of activities this year and were almost relieved when homecoming was over. While students expected the same ol’ same ol’ boring homecoming, they almost had too much on their plate. With that being said, however, they cannot say this next year because they should know what to expect — after this year, homecoming can only get better.