Block I makes big plans for Homecoming Week


Austin Yattoni

Students in Block I hold up the Illini shield flag during the game against North Carolina at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 10, 2016. Allie Hartlein, Block I communication chair, said students will perform an alumni-designed card stunt at the Homecoming football game on Saturday.

By Meral Aycicek, Assistant Special Sections Editor

Block I, the football branch of Illini Pride — the largest student organization on campus — is the best way to experience football at Illinois. Membership comes with premium seating and tailgating opportunities, as well as a huge group of spirited Illini.

Allie Hartlein, junior in LAS, is the communication chair for Block I. She shared her experience in Block I and her expectations for the upcoming Homecoming Weekend.

Daily Illini: How did you get involved with Block I? What drew you to it?

Allie Hartlein: I got involved with Block I my freshman year and I really enjoyed going to the games. I decided to be more involved my sophomore year and I became a Blockhead, one of the people that wears the white jerseys. Then I wanted to make a difference in Block I’s attendance and help make us more visible around campus, so I became the communications chair. Now I run all of our social media and send out the weekly newsletters to Block I members.

DI: Is Block I planning anything special for Homecoming Weekend?

AH: We have a tailgate, as we do every week. It’ll start three hours before the game, so I believe that’s at 8 a.m. for Homecoming. We are inviting alums who are former Blockheads and Block I chairs to our tailgate, so that’ll be fun to have some of our most dedicated Block I alumni there.

We will be in the Homecoming Parade with the Marching Illini, and of course we will have a very fun Homecoming and football-themed (card) stunt show, as we do every halftime.

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DI: What is your favorite part of Homecoming Weekend?

AH: My favorite part of Homecoming Weekend is seeing everyone really dedicated to their school spirit, everyone in orange throughout the entire weekend, and a lot of the alumni that come back. That’s really awesome, really expressing their love for the Illini.

DI: Do you have any tips for people celebrating Homecoming?

AH: Yes, get to the tailgating lot early (and) bring friends. If you’re an Illini Pride member, come to the Block I tailgate and get your free food. If you’re not an Illini Pride member, bring friends and enjoy some time in Grange Grove before the game.

Get to the game before it starts. Get good seats in Block I. Make sure to sit in the middle two sections so that you’ll get to be part of our Homecoming stunt show. We’re featuring a card stunt by an alum, and that’s part of a competition that’s going on right now. Cheer loud and have fun!

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