‘Go Big and Come Home’: Homecoming emphasizes tradition
A decrease in funds forced this year’s Homecoming Board to find new ways to engage students during Homecoming Week.
In 2017, the Student Fees Advisory Committee recommended a decrease in funding for Homecoming based on low attendance numbers from 2016, said Homecoming Chair Mayra Castillo. The committee did not approve funding for a Homecoming concert in 2018.
“There’s no concert, which is kind of frustrating because there are still students who are like ‘When’s the Homecoming concert? Who is the artist?,’ and I’m just like ‘There is no artist’,” Castillo said. “It’s kind of hard to explain to students why there is no artist and to get them to understand that it is not our decision.”
The budget cut also resulted in the Homecoming Fiesta’s removal from the list of events. In previous years, the Homecoming Fiesta was put on through a collaboration with Frontier Fiesta, and the event included carnival games, henna artists, bubble soccer, food and music.
Despite the change, the board has put a lot of effort into creating events to make up for the fact that there will not be a concert or fiesta this year, with an emphasis on tradition at UH, Castillo said.
“This year, our theme is ‘Go Big and Come Home’,” she said. “We really want students to understand that when they graduate, like yeah, you are going to go off and do big things as alumni, but we always want students to remember that this is home and that we all share this identity as UH students.”
This year, Homecoming will feature something old and something new.
Students can expect the return of old events like the kick-off pep rally Monday and CAN-Struction and Strut Your Stuff on Tuesday, Castillo said, because those are traditions and represent a large part of Homecoming’s focus this year.
The kick-off pep rally will include pizza, games, guest speakers and the Homecoming Court Reveal, where nominees for Homecoming King and Queen will be announced. CAN-Struction allows spirit teams to compete to build a sculpture out of cans in one hour. Strut Your Stuff is a talent show-style competition that includes skits, dancing and music.
Bed Racing will also return for a second year. Spirit teams will decorate beds to race in a tournament-style event next to the TDECU stadium. Students will have a chance to participate after the tournament ends.
New events include the Spirit Swap, where students can exchange old school shirts for a limited edition shirt that sports a popular old UH logo. Old shirts will be donated to a no-kill dog shelter to be used as toys, Castillo said.
Thursday will feature a glow in the dark roller rink and arcade.
The Tailgate — where students can enjoy food, games and a zip-line — will conclude the week Friday. There will also be giveaways over the course of the week, Castillo said.
“So far, I have pretty high hopes for what we have planned,” Castillo said. “I hope students enjoy it and forget that there’s supposed to be a concert, and instead focus on the fact that we are having all these great events and that this makes them want to come out.”