Homecoming 2019 to be spirit-filled week of events
The University from Nov. 11-16 is hosting several homecoming events leading up to the Memphis vs. Houston homecoming football game. From a field day, talent show, carnival, concert and more, students are in for a spirit-filled week.
“The main purpose and hope of the week is to build school spirit,” said Anthony Salcido, Homecoming chair. “I think that’s the main reason why students should go. We all do our best to plan events, offering a variety of different things each day of the week.”
This year’s Homecoming theme “Be Someone” celebrates all the ways students and alumni can make a difference in their lives and at UH.
“You’re leaving your mark,” Salcido said. “Do the best you can here in college and make sure when you leave, you can look back on it and feel like you had an impact on campus.”
Homecoming at the University dates back to 1946 after student enrollment grew post-World War II. The football team around then had joined the Lone Star Conference, the marching band was organized, the first bonfire was held and Frontier Fiesta returned.
Even 73 years later, students still look forward to Homecoming week’s annual festivities. Some said it’s a great way to have fun with their fellow students, meet new people and show off their school pride.
“I’m excited to see the school spirit, because back in high school I felt like everyone thinks they are too cool for homecoming stuff, but here maybe everybody will be happier,” said hotel and restaurant management freshman Zachary Andrzejewski.
Hotel and restaurant management freshman Kimberly Shen said she’s excited for the energy of the events and how many students she expects to be involved.
Another tradition is the crowning of the homecoming queen and king. The selection committee looks for candidates dedicated to academia and service, and the application process starts at the beginning of the semester.
The application process includes answering essay questions about their plans at the University and beyond, followed by an interview from staff and alumni.
“It’s kind of their way of showcasing what they’ve done, not for themselves, but for other students to see that this is the kind of impact you can make on campus,” Salcido said. “A lot of times it’s really for them to show students an anything’s possible type of thing.”
After the court is selected, then comes the homecoming king and queen campaign journey. Students can vote now through the Get Involved tab on AccessUH.
“I actually voted right at 12 (a.m.) when the voting for king and queen opened,” said history senior Jennfier Gonzalez.
The Homecoming board said this year’s week of events are intended to be more inclusive of the interests of all students. Since June, the board has taken surveys, spoken with a variety of students and planned all Homecoming events.
“I’m excited for all the events… and the free stuff,” Andrzejewski said. “I won’t be here for the game weekend, so I’ll have to celebrate during the week.”
The week of events starts with the Homecoming Kickoff Pep-rally from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 11 at Student Center Plaza. The event features pizza, games, guest speakers and the Homecoming Court Reveal.
From 11-2 p.m. on Nov. 12 comes the Cougar Games, a field day at Lynn Eusan park with relay races, an inflatable course, a water balloon toss and more. Later from 7-10 p.m. there’s ‘Strut Your Stuff’, a talent show style competition at the Student Center Houston Room full of skits, dancing and music.
“I’m very excited for homecoming,” Gonzalez said. “My sorority has been working really hard on a dance for the ‘Strut Your Stuff’, and I’m excited for the football game, because I can spend time with my sisters and my friends that have graduated.
The Homecoming board from 11-2 p.m. on Nov. 13 will host “Campus Roundup” with different games and activities set up around campus. If a student visits each station, they win a limited edition shirt and are entered into a giveaway for Apple Airpods.
From 7-10 p.m. that night, spirit teams get to decorate beds and then compete in the tournament style Bed Races next to TDECU Stadium. Students also can enjoy free food from different food trucks.
The Homecoming Fest and Concert will feature carnival games and food from 6-8 p.m., with the concert following from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 at Lynn Eusan Park.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, there’s a series of events leading up to the Men’s basketball game against BYU at the Fertitta Center
The “Rock the Campus” beautification project from 9 a.m. to noon at the Student Center Plaza and a basketball tailgate from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Fertitta Center with feature face painting, caricatures, fortune tellers and special giveaways as part of the fun.
To end the week on Saturday, Nov. 16, there’s the homecoming game against the Memphis Tigers.