Some students’ priorities don’t include homecoming events

By Kristin Shaulis

It’s finally here: Homecoming. It’s the time of year when a student is supposedly most proud to be an Illini. This week is full of school spirit. Whether it is float-building for the parade, attending the pep rally or cheering on the Illini at the big football game on Saturday, it seems as though everyone is involved.

But not everyone is as excited about Homecoming as the stereotype lends one to believe. Some students simply don’t have the time to participate in Homecoming festivities.

Support the Daily Illini in College Media Madness!

Help the Daily Illini take back the top spot in the College Media Madness fundraising competition! See the current ranking here.

learn more
donate now

“I’m putting myself through college so I work a lot,” said Elizabeth Lemmon, a junior in LAS. “I had to put my schedule in a month ahead of time, and I wasn’t sure when Homecoming was, so I just can’t really fit it in now.”

But work isn’t the only reason why students aren’t completely involved in this week’s events. Some students simply choose not to be.

“It’s not that I’m not school-spirited,” said Lindsay Garner, a freshman in the College of Media. “I’ll definitely wear orange and blue, but I don’t have football tickets so I can’t go to the game or anything.”

After all, this isn’t high school anymore. There’s no reason to dress up like Batman on Superhero Day and no big dance to make sure you have a date for. And there definitely isn’t a school-wide assembly where you get to goof off while missing class.

“It’s like with the Homecoming court. It’s such a big college, and it’s obviously not like high school. I don’t know any of the people on it so I’m not really interested,” Lemmon said.

Event attendance also has a lot to do with each individual student’s personal interests.

“If there was something that I was really interested in I would probably go or try to make time for it, but since I do have so much going on, it makes it harder,” Garner said.

Like most things though, if students want to see a change in the events offered, it’s important to get involved.

“As far as ideas about events, most of that is done when we do our recruiting. That’s when we focus on making the group as interesting and diverse as we can,” said Reid Thompson, junior in ACES and vice president of Internal Homecoming for the Student Alumni Association, a campus group that helps implement Homecoming events.

“Most of the events are tradition based, like the pep rally, so a lot of what we do is focus on ways to bring the students and community together.”

However, getting serious input from students can be a challenge.

“We used to do surveys and things like that to let students pick the theme of Homecoming, but we never really got a response,” said Thompson. “It always ended up just being SAA members that came up with the ideas.”

So if there’s time for it, make it out to a Homecoming event. If nothing else, it’ll be an experience. If you somehow become consumed by the Illinois spirit and decide Homecoming 2008 was the best week of your life, great. If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone.