High hopes for Homecoming

Abbey Wells, Contributing Reporter

With Homecoming Weekend just around the corner, event planners hope their preparations will make this year’s event the best one yet. Taking place from Oct. 11 through 14, the festivities will provide an opportunity for everyone involved with Case Western Reserve University, past and present, to come together and celebrate the institution they love.

Executive President of the Class Officer Collective (COC) Madhan Saiprasad hopes that Homecoming activities will elicit more enthusiasm this year than in years past.

“We no longer want it to be free food and giveaways. We want it to be about class spirit and class pride,” said Saiprasad.

To achieve the COC’s goal, the organization is collaborating with the University Program Board (UPB) to throw a kickoff event that is intended to get students excited for Homecoming. During the official kickoff, the first- and second-year students will play against each other in a game of pushball, while the third- and fourth-year students will face off in a game of flag football. Saiprasad believes that a successful kickoff is key in getting students pumped for the week ahead.

Janice Gerda, associate vice president for student engagement and learning, said that it can be difficult to plan an enjoyable Homecoming that is also unique each year.

“For event planners, this is a challenge because it’s often not enough to just do the standard, cookie-cutter version you’d find anywhere,” said Gerda.

The activities of the week will nonetheless allow both current and past community members to commemorate their experiences at the school. Brad Crews, senior executive director of alumni relations, noted that everyone plays an important role in Homecoming activities, not just students.

He said, “Homecoming is a wonderful time where alumni, students, parents and staff celebrate what the University means to them.”

Homecoming attendees may find it challenging to choose which of the numerous events to attend as organizations and departments throughout campus are hosting their own activities.

“There is such an assortment of events happening that our guests truly have to make decisions about how they want to spend their time,” said Crews.

Crews revealed that his favorite part of Homecoming is interacting with the alumni, adding, “They are amazed with how the campus has changed. They are keenly interested in the strides the University’s students, faculty and fellow alums have made.”

Saiprasad, however, expressed worries that a focus on alumni means that current students may feel left out of the celebrations.

“A lot of time students feel like they aren’t a part of Homecoming and that it’s mostly for the alumni, but that’s something we can really change as we go forward,” said Saiprasad.