Homecoming off to exciting start

A host of events between today and Saturday will mark the celebration of Homecoming 2008.

Previously, in 2002, the idea of Homecoming was halted due to the extermination of the University’s football program. However, it was re-implemented in 2006 without the football team.

According to Jennifer Panzarella, associate director for Campus Activities, the event has been successful every year.

“Homecoming has been received well over the past three years since its reimplementation,” she said. “Every year it grows and my hope is that it will continue to grow.”

The four-day event begins with “I Heart STJ Fest,” also called Student Appreciation Day. The Fest is designed to encourage students to express their pride, show school spirit and welcome the beginning of Homecoming. The celebration, taking place in Marillac Terrace, includes a Digital CD laser recording studio, a personalized engraving shop, an Apple photo booth, free “I Heart STJ” T-shirts, music and T-mobile giveaways.

Michelle Riestra, a junior, said she will definitely be attending the kick-off event.

“I am looking forward [to it] because it’s the time to have fun,” Riestra said. “I think STJ Fest is an opportunity to show school spirit. It’s more catered towards the students.” She added, “I love the T-shirts and giveaways.”

On the same day, there will be three showings of the movie, Wanted, featuring Angelina Jolie, in the Little Theater with
free snacks and raffles for students. The day ends with the a Men’s Soccer team taking on Syracuse at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, October 9, students will be able to participate in community service by attending the Bread and Life Soup Kitchen in the morning. Spots are limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Later that day, Residence Life, in collaboration with Campus Activities will present a talent show in Marillac Auditorium. St. John’s students will perform many dance and singing acts along with other talents.

Step Ya Game Up, the dance team, will be hosting their second annual step competition, “Step Hard or Go Home, Part Two,” taking place Friday, Oct. 10. The event will consist of the best and most competitive step teams in the Northeast.

The day’s events will also include Women’s volleyball and soccer games, against Rutgers and Marquette, respectively and a “Redzone BBQ,” where students can enjoy free food and show school spirit for the day’s athletic games.

Finally, on the last day of Homecoming 2008, students can attend the Family Day Brunch; Mind Reader Robert Channing; Chapel Players presentation of Urinetown; Columbus Weekend Tailgating Party; Men’s Soccer versus Villanova, culminating in Casino Night. Panzarella said, “I feel those are the events that students will have a great time at, and for me, the best part of my job is knowing that I offered students the opportunity to enjoy being a part of the STJ community.”

Students interviewed by the Torch were enthusiastic.
Junior Franklin Quijada said that Homecoming is “an amazing idea.”

“It brings a sense of pride and a sense of community because we all come together as students,” he added.
Student Michelle Ng agreed.

“I’d want to see all the sports game because I have never been to one and I heard that they’re good. It’s exciting because it will be a good time for us [students] to relax before midterms week so it’s considerate of the University,” she said.