EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH & ESTER SALGUERO
The events for this year’s homecoming are squished within this week and include the UMW athletic games proceeding over the weekend, a BBQ on Ball Circle and a photo contest spread throughout relying heavily on student interaction.
The week kicked off on Wednesday with a slew of sporting events, featuring women’s soccer going head to head with Frostburg State and field hockey facing CNU at the Battlegrounds in the afternoon. Later in the evening a volleyball match in the Anderson Center against Saint Mary’s and a bonfire on Jefferson Square.
The week will continue in much the same way, integrating fierce athletic competition with school spirit by incorporating more relaxed and social events. Including events like LipSync on Thursday, Oct. 22 in Dodd Auditorium and BBQ on Ball Circle taking place Friday, Oct. 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Social media has become the staple for hype with a week-long event in the form of a photo contest. Some of the challenges include sneaking a photo of Sammy D. Eagle, bench-sitting and dishing out UMW pride. The university’s social media center, #UMWSocial, is leading the challenge and is offering prizes to anyone who posts photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #UMWHomecoming.
Prizes include free Jamba Juice smoothies and boxed lunches for the Homecoming Tailgate beginning Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m.
PRISM, one of the student groups on campus as People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities, will be leading a few of the events taking place. Taking charge with a comedic performance by Chris Doucette who was summed up in a statement made by the James Farmer Multicultural Center, filled with caustic humor, as a product of two talented comedians. “If Oscar Wilde and Tina Fey had a baby who read only Calvin & Hobbes comic strips, you’d get Chris Doucette” according to the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s page.
The PRISM Prom is taking place Friday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. at Seacobeck Hall. This year’s PRISM Prom has been officially added to the events list for homecoming week as they were formally invited by the homecoming committee. Usually the members of the club and people familiar with the club’s version of prom would attend but the club has never had the attention that they have this semester.
It is expected that they will have a massive turnout. Homecoming is geared towards both students and alumni creating a space where the community can come together in celebration representing the numerous sub-groups which make up the UMW community.
According to Jasmine Mann, president of PRISM, homecoming allows alumni and students to come together in a way they would not under other circumstances.
“[It’s] that one event of the year where you can feel a part of it,” Mann said, referring to UMW’s community holistically.
According to Ethan Feuer, director of the Office of Student Activities and Engagement, homecoming is meant to attract a wide range of students, including alumni, to attend an event said to be lively.
“We feel that these events are aimed at engaging both returning alumni and our present student community,” Feuer said. “From athletic matches and the traditional tailgating event, to a wide range of student-run traditions such as LipSync and the Bonfire, Homecoming 2015 offers opportunities for the entire UMW community.”
Nancy Milroy, junior American studies major, believes that the event is an important outlet for students and alumni, particularly during the fall season. She encourages international students to attend Homecoming 2015 as well, believing it is a positive way for international students to experience a tradition held by the university.
“In particular, I’m inviting international students to come to Homecoming. I hope they can seize the free food and music,” Milroy said.
Similarly, senior theatre major Edward Yates believes the event is a good outlet for students, predominantly as a way to take a break from the daily grind.
“They’re kind of stress relievers,” Yates said about the homecoming events. However, Yates said the sports events are outside of the university, and hopes for more events within the university itself, such as the annual LipSync competition in Dodd Auditorium.
“I don’t particularly relate to sport events, especially since they’re far away,” Yates said. “Dodd Auditorium is closer access.”
Whether students enjoy snapping photos or gearing up for great games through tailgating, UMW is setting to guarantee something for every student this week.