Why I Hate Homecoming Season

BY: THERY SANON

So it’s that time of year again: homecoming season. Homecoming season is a great time for students across the country to unwind and celebrate their schools in the grandest of fashions. From “the big game” to the various activities and parties going on all throughout the weekend, homecoming is the official “welcome back” celebration that every school needs.

I hate homecoming season. Not because I don’t like the idea of homecoming, but because I decided to go to the one of the only schools in the country that doesn’t even have one. There are 19 colleges in Washington, D.C., and American University is the only one of the District's top five universities that has no homecoming. No parades, no big game, no parties. Nothing. It sucks. 

AU needs a lot more than just a homecoming right now. The idea of homecoming is that it mainly serves to raise the levels of school spirit and morale on campus. The best homecomings are at schools where the students really love their school. We should look to Howard University’s Homecoming. 

Every year, Howard turns homecoming into a full week of spirit. They have traditions that they manage to top every year, including Yardfest (Wale, Faith Evans, and Common performed this year), a big football game and Howard Homecoming on Saturday night, which is one of the livest nights of the year in the District. Every year, homecoming is seen as sacred week where students and alumni come together as one big family and celebrate being students at Howard University. 

AU, where is our school spirit? Do we have any traditions? The last time I heard our fight song, I was at Eagle Summit. For a university that has such a deep history in the heart of D.C., what do we do that gets our students excited to attend here? 

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We have 14 Division I sports teams, but I know seniors who’ve said that they’ve “never actually been interested in going to a game.” It’s shocking how deflated this school can be. A walk through the quad to the library sometimes looks like The Walking Dead, with students just trudging along and going through the motions. Nobody really looks happy. 

The worst part about our lack of spirit is that, as a university, we look so disjointed. We’re missing a lot of the togetherness you would typically see at other schools. We’re split into a bunch of different groups that never even attempt to interact with each other – the Greeks, the athletes, the international students, the Student Government students. The list goes on and this school can get a little clique-y at times. The only events I have ever seen the student body get pumped up for are the presidential debates. I’d pay money to see that same spirit at a pep rally or a game.

I’m not saying AU students aren’t passionate. Almost any given student at AU gets excited when talking about where they are interning and the different clubs and organizations they are participating in. Students live pretty exciting lives during their time at American.

AU needs a proper homecoming.  An annual October celebration will lead to new school traditions that could raise our pride in the university. School spirit grows on its own, but we need some foundation before we can boost it.  If AU can put on a good homecoming, that special level of excitement and unity will start to spill into other parts of our school as well – people may even start attending more sporting events. 

I get it – we don’t have a football team. But everyone sleeps on AU athletics. As it stands, we currently have three 1st place teams in the Patriot League, and a men’s basketball team that made the NCAA tournament a couple years ago. Other sports exist too folks. Our volleyball and field hockey teams are unstoppable these days, and in the spring, our lacrosse and wrestling teams are always on the hunt for titles. If more students cared about the school as a whole, they would see that there are a lot of things that AU actually has to get excited about. 

An AU homecoming would be lit. Students, faculty, and alumni can come together for a few days and just enjoy being at one of the greatest universities in the country. The happier the students are, the more we can continue to grow and change as an institution. 

Photo by Taryn Daniels.

Jenna CaldwellComment