Emily Dawson, Contributing Writer
Homecoming on the hilltop provides students with the opportunity to come together and truly get the full college experience. It’s one of the highlights of the West Liberty school year, and students should be involved with the 2015 Homecoming festivities.
Throughout the week of Homecoming, West Liberty’s campus really comes to life. School spirit is displayed from both alumni and current students, and a vibrant social atmosphere surrounds the university. At West Liberty, Homecoming is more than just a school dance; it’s one of the most attended events of the school year.
According to Evan Newman, former SGA President, “Homecoming is one of the most memorable times of the year for many students, alumni, faculty, and friends upon the hilltop.” Newman said, “You can make the weekend into a networking experience or even better, you can just enjoy meeting new people that probably experienced the same things 20+ years ago.”
Although many students don’t realize how much hard work is involved with the Homecoming activities, there is a lot of behind the scenes effort required to assist in all of the preparations. The Student Government Association must keep in constant contact with the administration, students, and outside vendors, and must book the venue and entertainment for both the dance and the football game.
In addition, the candidates running for Homecoming King and Queen put in a lot of time and work to make the week of Homecoming special. Not only do the candidates have to raise money and locate sponsors to have a successful campaign, but they must also choreograph a themed skit with members of their organization and their running mate’s organizations. Homecoming preparations, both for those organizing the various events and for those representing organizations, deserve some recognition for these time-consuming demands.
Often, students think that it is easier to become involved with Homecoming if you’re a member of a Greek organization. However, there are a variety of other ways to get involved. For example, a student could reach out to the SGA to help them with planning, get in touch with the Office of Alumni Relations to assist in various Homecoming preparations, or contact Kate Billings, the Campus Activities Coordinator, to stay updated on plans for the week and ways to become involved.
More so, there is an opportunity to become involved by entering a float into the annual Homecoming parade. Or, if you want to really be a part of the action, running for Homecoming King or Queen is not restricted to Greek organizations. It is very easy for independent candidates to run as well.
Events leading up to Homecoming will commence on Oct. 6 with Serenades in College Hall. Doors open for spectators at 8:30 p.m., and the event begins at 9:00. Serenades consists of must-see themed performances put on by all of the Homecoming King and Queen candidates. Last year, Evan Dotson of Chi Nu and Maura Reiff of Alpha Xi Delta teamed up to win the 2014 Serenades event. Dotson said, “Serenades is a great way to get the whole school involved with the Homecoming activities. It allows students to show off their talents, and for everyone there to have a good laugh.”
On Oct. 7, the candidates and their organizations will participate in tent day on the quad. Set up may begin as early as 7:00 a.m., seeing as the representatives need ample time to allow for their elaborate tent showcases. Usually, the various tents will give away items such as free food and t-shirts in campaigning efforts. Throughout the day, the student body will cast their votes for Homecoming King and Queen.
On Oct. 8, a pep rally and bonfire will be held to show school spirit at 8:00 p.m. The following day, students are invited to the union to paint paw prints at 4:00 p.m.
Finally, on Oct. 10, the Homecoming parade will line up at the West Liberty Fire Department at 9:30 a.m., the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., and the Homecoming football game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. The Hilltoppers will battle against MEC opponents from the University of Charleston, while the West Liberty student body supports their efforts and tailgates throughout the day.
West Liberty’s 2015 Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at halftime of the game. Later on, the West Liberty student body will make some noise at WesBanco Arena for the 2015 Homecoming experience.
With Homecoming right around the corner, make sure not to miss out on this college experience. Make the most of your home on the hilltop, and make priceless memories to last a lifetime. Homecoming is what you make of it, so go out with your friends, show some school spirit, and get involved! No one wants to look back and regret missing out on what could be one of the best nights at West Liberty University. As Newman said, “Homecoming is the best weekend of the year at WLU, and being involved makes it even better.”