The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Sunday November 28th

Homecoming and Parent & Family Day combine for a day to remember

<p><em>Students in the Pep Band perform during the Homecoming Fest outside of the Brower Student Center on Oct. 2 (Liz Osekavage / Photo Editor).</em></p>

Students in the Pep Band perform during the Homecoming Fest outside of the Brower Student Center on Oct. 2 (Liz Osekavage / Photo Editor).

By Emma Ferschweiler
Staff Writer

The College’s annual Spirit Week wrapped up with a packed day of Homecoming and Parent & Family Day activities. These two events happened concurrently on Oct. 2 all across campus and included activities ranging from an art gallery at the Art & Interactive Multimedia building to trivia at the Brower Student Center. 

Most of Homecoming’s events occurred from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. as part of a first-time festival never held before. Director of Administration & Operations for Student Affairs Susie Orecchio said previous Homecomings focused on the football game and tailgating. This year, Orecchio said, they prioritized entertaining everybody with various activities. 

“It was so wonderful to see our TCNJ families enjoying campus and the variety of activities with their student,” Orecchio said. “After not being able to engage in person for so long, it was amazing to see this collaborative vision between students and staff come to fruition.”

Student involvement took a huge role in planning Spirit Week. Organizations that aided in execution and programming on a day-to-day basis mainly came from Student Government (SG) and the Residence Hall Association as well as representatives from Fraternity and Sorority Life. 

The Student Finance Board funded the Homecoming Fest entertainment such as inflatables, an obstacle course, boardwalk games and sports challenges. The lineup for Oct. 2 was chosen by multiple student organizations and included a handful of popular Welcome Week events. 

Orecchio said the goal of Homecoming and Parent & Family Day was to create school spirit as well as provide an opportunity for students to socialize. Because this year’s events were held on one day, Orecchio said families and visiting alumni could take part in the puzzles, contests, crafts and overall fun which is another objective the College hoped for. 

“Much of the event had the opportunity for student leaders to create, learn and grow while planning events for their peers. That was special to watch that happen during the planning process,” Orecchio said. 

Orecchio said the layout of Parent & Family Day changes with every celebration based on feedback, but there are still some long-standing traditions. She pointed out that each Spirit Week holds an event with the president of the College, and for 2021 they organized “Kick-Off with the Presidents” which allows students and parents to meet both President Foster and SG President Roshni Raji.

“The nice thing about most events was that groups of students, groups of families or groups of students and their alumni friends could enjoy these events together. It was so nice to see so many combinations of people taking part in the day,” Orecchio said. 

The Lion Court Royalty Ceremony is another anticipated event that students look forward to annually. For three weeks, participants campaigned and hoped to be named 2021 Lion Royalty during the Homecoming football game halftime. Standing in the middle of Lion’s Stadium, the candidates awaited as the broadcaster announced Nicollette Simon and Grace Boriotti as the winners.

“Honestly, I was really excited [and] shocked… It didn’t really settle in right away, it wasn’t until… later that night that I was like wow I really won... It was nice to be honored for all the hard work I've been doing over the years for TCNJ,” said Simon, a senior nursing major who is pursuing a public health five-year master’s program. 

Other than being part of Homecoming history, Simon is an active member in numerous student organizations on campus and on the executive board for several of them. She is president of both the TRIOTA Honor Society and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority which Simon is the organizer for, in addition to other administrative positions. 

Many Lion Royalty campaigns chose to use flyers and social media to bring awareness, including Simon. She took these steps but said the decision to run came late into the competition. People who helped Simon to win, she said, were her sorority sisters and parents who helped motivate her. 

“Lion’s Royalty overall is something that honors students who have given back to the TCNJ community, who have expressed their leadership [and] shown how they love TCNJ through their leadership,” Simon said.

This year, the College removed Homecoming king and queen labels, instead opting to name the winners as Lion Royalty. Simon said these events promote and raise school spirit while allowing students, families and alumni to bond. 

“As far as within the position, I just want to improve alumni relations, especially for our recent alumni that recently graduated,” Simon said. “I want to have good retention, maybe host events that promote people coming back, getting together [and] bonding over experiences, whether that’s new or old.”


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