The case for homecoming weekend

Homecoming is the epitome of school spirit. It is the one time of the year where the school rallies together to put together a huge weekend to show how much they love their university. Sure, everyone has deep pride for the school, but this is an opportunity to show it openly and to include family and friends from a far.

St. John’s University’s way of doing homecoming is a bit unconventional compared to other schools. Homecoming is usually centered on a huge football game, and we do not have one, nor have we had one for a few years. Instead, there are countless activities scheduled throughout homecoming weekend, which takes place at the same time as family weekend.

The events kick off on Thursday, October 25, with an “I love SJU” festival. The event will have free give aways, free food and a place where students can express their pride in the University. A service trip to St. John the Baptist elementary school is also being held.

Saturday is emphasized as family day. There will be a family carnival during the day, followed by a mind reader, a performance of the school musical, a pep rally tailgate, a soccer game and a concert that goes well into the night.

The variety of choices seems much more appealing than just a big football game. Some students may not be very interested in athletics, so this way they feel more included in the homecoming events. By having different activities, more student organizations are showcased. The diversity of the school’s extracurricular activity is shown well by the structure of the weekend.
The emphasis on family is also very important during homecoming. A lot of students are out of state, so being away from home can be difficult. When parents do come to visit, it can be difficult trying to find things to do, and to get a proper impression of the school, since it is a lot quieter on the weekends compared to weekdays. Having a weekend that gives an array of activities, a family can surely find one that intrigues them. Showing parents a good representation of the school is also very important, since most of the time they are the financial supporters in their child’s education. It also makes them feel better about sending their child away if they see what environment their child is living in. Homecoming makes the campus come alive, and truly shows parents what St. John’s is all about.

Homecoming festivities come about two weeks after midterms. Students need a stress reliever from the academics and an opportunity to have a good time. For the last few weeks, students have stressed and studied until their eyes were about to pop out. Midterms are over, but the focus is now trying to survive the workload until finals, which is another headache in itself. By having family around and a festive atmosphere, the weekend will help keep students’ morale up and spirits high. Students will feel rejuvenated after having a weekend full of family visits and fun-filled events on campus.

The weekend is also about school unity. All the events are open to faculty, resident students, commuter students, alumni, and family. It is a way for everyone affiliated with the St. John’s family to feel part of the campus. People come together for one purpose–to show pride in what students are part of.

St. John’s University might not have the most conventional homecoming weekend, but it is certainly tailor-made for the school. The University has every right to celebrate school spirit and to express their pride. We may not have a football team, but there will be more than enough activities that will truly represent the spirit of SJU.