Story by Paityn Langley
Homecoming week: seven days of non-stop activities for college students to share their school pride. Early morning wakeups and late night returns are justifiable, and perhaps expected, among students this week. Flyers for various events are plastered in layers on any available surface.
Students proudly represent their school by sporting the university’s colors through their clothes, beads, face paint, wigsor anything they can possibly get their hands on.
The football stadium is filled to maximum capacity with roaring fans. The marching band plays energetic music alongside the cheerleaders who chant in an attempt to maintain good moral. In the simplest way, Homecoming is a time of celebration.
Drake University’s Homecoming week, however, does not quite fit the above criteria.
“In general, Homecoming is a difficult event to plan here at Drake. A lot of times, it is overshadowed by Drake Relays,” said President of Student Activities Board (SAB) and junior Natalie Larson. “I think it is kind of a shame. I know the challenges the Homecoming committee is faced with. But honestly, it takes an entire student body to change that culture.”
Drake Relays, an annual track and field event held at Drake during the spring takes precedence for students over Homecoming week.
“Here, Drake Relays is our big event, and unfortunately, I feel like Homecoming inadvertently gets pushed to the side,” said sophomore and previous SAB committee member Jennifer Gardner. “It would be fun if Homecoming was more of a big deal, but that is definitely a change that is not easily made.”
Every year, SAB chooses a theme for Homecoming to inspire the students.
The theme of Homecoming this year is “A Bulldog’s Tale,” which depicts Drake throughout the years. Each event, free of charge for Drake students, represents a different decade at Drake.
Drake sophomore Vivianna Lopez was aware of this issue before accepting her position as SAB Homecoming co-chair.
“We planned the Homecoming events with that particular challenge in mind,” Lopez said. “We are doing a lot more this year to influence students to get involved than we have in the past. We are working with many different student organizations to spread the word and get more people’s attention, so hopefully we see some positive changes in that regard.”
“We are trying to overcome the issues by always moving a step forward and trying to enhance Homecoming by making things bigger than the past years,”Larson said. “Hopefully greater participation of student organizations will help push for more student attendance.”