Chess, Checkers, Parcheesi and Homecoming
By Julie Reinhardt
September 27, 2013
This fall, Western Homecoming will be Oct. 6-12 with familiar and novel events that will bring together students, faculty and community members.
Stegall and Erin Teel are co-chairs for the 13-person Homecoming Steering Committee. Stegall said a lot of brainstorming went into choosing the theme when the committee started planning in January this year.
The theme, “Game Changers,” plays on the idea of board games. Events such as Guess Who, Campus Clue and a Twister competition take the game off the board and recreate it with real players.
“It’s all different,” Jake Cunning, Co-Director of Special Events, said. “But hopefully a good different, and everyone will enjoy it.”
Cunning crafted the slogan, which incorporates the board game names of RISK, CLUE, LIFE and SORRY on the back of the Homecoming t-shirts.
“It’s a themed slogan, if you will,” Cunning said.
“I loved this opportunity to plan something this massive,” Teel said. “It’s a great learning experience for me.”
Teel said her favorite part of planning Homecoming was the students and faculty having a good time.
“You just want the spirit of Missouri Western to be lit up in everybody during that week,” Teel said.
Teel, who is a nursing major, said she is most looking forward to the blood drive, one of the community service events of the week. She hopes to collect 200 units this year, which is double last year’s collection.
“I hope it’s forming a tradition here at Missouri Western,” Teel said. “It’s a great and easy way to give back to fellow Americans.”
The blood drive is also a point of competition with Northwest Missouri State University.
“Anything competing with Northwest I think will be huge,” Stegall said.
This year, Homecoming week starts on Sunday, featuring the Dr. Dennis W. Atkins 5K Run and Carnival.
“We kind of snuck in a whole extra day to Homecoming, which is exciting because it’s a whole other day of spirit,” said Cunning.
Atkins is a Western alum and marathon runner who has a blinding disease. He wants to contribute to people whose struggles he can relate. The $10 entry fee goes toward a scholarship through the Accessibility Resource Center.
During and after the run, families can participate in a carnival atmosphere with inflatable bounce houses, local business-sponsored face painting, ring toss and fishing game booths.
Stegall said the 5K run and carnival were her favorite events to plan.
“Who knows, maybe they’ll keep a 5K for next year,” Stegall said.
The concept for entertainment is new this year. Students will participate in a Battle of the Bands. They will be the opening act for an unannounced music performer. So far, 10 bands have signed up.
The Western Activities Council had lined up ZZ Ward, but she will not be performing. WAC is keeping the name of the replacement band a mystery because they are still negotiating the contract. Teel said she listened to a few of their cover songs on YouTube, and she thinks they are a good band.
The pep rally will also have a new feature this year; a 12-14 minute fireworks show. Stegall said the committee ran into a few obstacles, like finding someone with a license to sell fireworks all year.
The fireworks display will be presented by Jeremy Kovax.
“I’m excited about that,” Teel said. “It’s going to be really fun.”
Campus organizations picked parade float themes and turned in their floats’ basic structures and dimensions. The finished floats will be revealed at the Homecoming Parade in Downtown St. Joseph.
“The parade is huge, because it brings in a lot of the community members,” Stegall said.
Stegall said the point of Homecoming is to get everyone involved and enjoy the week together.