Editorial | Homecoming is quintessential for campus involvement

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Daily Illini File Photo

The Block I student section holds up cards spelling “coming” in “Homecoming” during halftime of the game against Purdue at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Homecoming is a great time to get involved on campus.

Illini will soon enjoy a rejuvenated Homecoming. Canceled last year due to COVID-19, this year’s celebrations will surely electrify students, alumni and families experiencing the regenerated commemorations.

Likewise, this year’s festivities are best illustrated by the event’s theme, “Close or apart, we’re Illini at heart.”

With last year’s canceled activities embodying the anguish of leaning remote, merely the presence of everyone on campus is a vast improvement. Aspiring for the “close” aspect of Homecoming’s motto, Illini ought to revel in all that is to arrive this week.

Furthermore, at the center of this year’s Homecoming sits anticipation and the opportunity for unity. For over a year, Illini alike have endured through a bitter pandemic and strenuous circumstances. Whether it be the pressure returning to in-person classes presents or the anguish of prolonged isolation, Illini are due for united cheer.

Unlike those of the past, this year should be particularly interesting for those who have lacked a proper Homecoming. A semester thus far marked by numerous “firsts” for freshmen and sophomores — and many more —, these celebrations for Illini hold special value for those especially affected by COVID-19’s sequestering qualities.

Although the pandemic lingers, the University shows promise with case numbers diminishing from their early September highs. Moreover, with 91% of undergraduates vaccinated, the University and its inhabitants merit and should utilize the impending joy campus will offer. Safety, certainly, remains a priority, yet Homecoming is a worthy moment for amalgamation amidst this “new normal.”

It will be beneficial for Illini to research and discover the week’s entertaining events preceding the titular football game and Homecoming parade Sunday. Subsequently, participation is paramount for those wishing to extend involvement in campus traditions.

Every Illini is within their right to participate as extensively or as little as possible. However, for the objective of a consolidated campus of amusement — and the fundamental responsibility to collegiately engage — Illini should consider partaking in Homecoming activities.

In this age of ambiguity for what lies tomorrow, appreciate the pleasures which lie ahead. As such, Homecoming is the occasion for which campus involvement is generously rewarded. For this and all Homecomings, acknowledge the trials and tribulations fulfilled over distress, and enjoy the approaching high spirits.

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