By Emma Ferschweiler
The College’s campus welcomed students and parents to enjoy this year’s annual homecoming activities on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. Student government collaborated with the Division of Student Affairs to plan the entire week’s events, including the weekend’s Homecoming Fest. The Student Finance Board funded the commencement events of the weekend.
The preceding days, Spirit Week, hosted activities such as Traditions Trivia, Coffeehouse Night and a Silent Disco. Students got free t-shirts in a giveaway, and in an Adopt a Lion event from the College Union Board (CUB), students got free lion plushes.
“This year especially was focused on Lion’s Pride and what that represents, [and] it was also critical for us to support legacy events while creating new-standing events for future students,” said Antigone Antonakakis, a junior public health major and the student government vice president for Administration and Finance. “I am proud of homecoming and felt it was an amazing opportunity to bolster school pride and take a break from our rigorous courses.”
First in the lineup was an athletics game-themed lunch at Eickhoff Hall on Friday, Oct. 21. In addition to a diversified plate, a hot dog cart and popcorn machine were there for students to enjoy. Diners also got to meet Roscoe the Lion, the College’s mascot, and were given complementary clappers, balloons and bells to use at the upcoming sports games.
Antonakakis worked with student leaders, administrators and student organizations to coordinate this year’s homecoming theme, Lion’s pride, and make clear what it means. The bright blue and gold adornments across campus were displayed to show this.
“I am fortunate to have worked closely with both this year’s and last year’s VP for Student Services to organize homecoming events,” Antonakakis said, “and I found that both had different goals for the event.”
The Residence Hall Association (RHA) took part in the school festivities by sponsoring a Friday Night Bites giveaway in the Brower Student Center on Oct. 21. Students socialized and partook in refreshments. They also received a chance to win free merchandise and a $75 Barnes and Noble gift card.
The Saturday festivities began around 10 a.m. with pumpkin designing on the Sundial Lawn and afterward performances from student groups across campus. Organizations displayed their talents on stage at Brower Student Center. The group acts included iTunes, Trentones, Pep Band, Synergy and Tap Ensemble.
Parent & Family day also took place throughout the day with its own scheduled activities. Students’ relatives could participate in family-centered activities while also acclimating to the College’s campus and staff. President Kathryn Foster and the student government president, Dylan Chidick, a senior political science major, got to know some families in a Kick-Off with the President's celebration.
Families admired the College’s campus, played games such as Grit ‘N Wit and Family ThinkFast and competed through inflatable obstacle courses.
Attendees also included alumni who were treated to an Alumni Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the AIMM building courtyard. Shortly after was the kickoff of Lions football against Salisbury University followed by men’s soccer in a match with New Jersey City University.
The Student government planned the Fest entirely. Antonakakis said that it was difficult to prioritize the days' schedules with limited time and to create activities all attendees would enjoy.
“Spending upwards of 50 hours in the planning of homecoming, the most rewarding part of [it] was seeing people in the homecoming shirts during Saturday’s football game,” Antonakakis said. “To see students and alumni coming together to promote school spirit was extremely rewarding for me.”