Without a doubt, “It” is the most school-spirited week of the year. Students of every assortment come out to it. Organizations of every variety compete in it. And if you’ve read the title of this blog entry, then even you know its name…Homecoming!
Homecoming week cannot be summed up solely by its thrilling competitions, live entertainment, and surplus of food and activities. The unity fostered by the Homecoming events is far more important than all the free stuff and D-I basketball games. A big part of Homecoming is for organizations to pair up as teams to compete in a range of activities geared towards helping students with different interests get to know one another better.
To give you a better idea of what really goes on during the week of Homecoming, a few friends and I appeared at some of the events and “hacked” (with permission, of course) the UNF Admissions Instagram page to document our findings. For those of you who missed the pics, I’ll briefly describe some of the events the Instahack team checked out.
This year Homecoming week was held the week of February 15th to February 22nd. As it has every year since I’ve been here, the week kicked off with a hilarious comedy show. This event, among almost every other event, is completely free to UNF students and faculty. This time around Comedy Central comedians’ Ron Funches and Emily Heller took the stage before headliner Anthony Jeselnik stole the night.
Getting Active and Staying Fueled
As the week pushed forward, events such as UNF’s own 5k “Swoop the Loop” and a challenge course competition called the “Amazing Osprey Race” kept students active while events such as the “Night of Fun” and “Late Night Breakfast” kept students fed.
Night of Fun
“Night of Fun” was probably one of my personal favorite events of the week. Basically, UNF brings a carnival to campus. There they had build-a-bear workshops, cotton candy, funnel cake, burgers, and of course, THE RIDES!!! I can’t think of any other carnival I’d rather be at than a free one at UNF. That was awesome.
Lip-sync-An Official UNF Tradition
Another one of my favorite events was the Lip-sync performances. This event includes a theatrical dance competition among different UNF organizations and although it is the Greek community who gets most involved, all are encouraged to join in. It looked like a blast to be up on that stage, but the real treat was for those of us in the audience. With numbers reaching over 100 dancers, this event is held in UNF’s State-of-the-art Lazarra Theater and felt just like a professional show.
Can Castle Competition
If none of these events appeal to you, maybe you would have enjoyed the Can Castle contest in which teams had to collect cans to be donated to the UNF lend-a-wing food pantry after constructing their own castles. Judging was based on number of cans and creativity.
Mr. & Ms. UNF competition
I never knew how much talent was on UNF’s campus until seeing our students compete with formal wear, a talent and the whole nine yards! This year Mr. and Ms. UNF went to students Charles Adderley and Nikki Gouldthread, who demonstrated their vocal abilities with a pretty song and a rap about what it takes to be “Swoopalicious”.
The Main Event
If these events don’t have you bleeding blue and gray by the end of the week, then there is only one thing left that will; the basketball game. Most of you are probably aware that UNF does not have a football team (we like to think of it as being undefeated in football), but no one is thinking about football during UNF’s Homecoming.
With an arena completely packed with students, the collective sound of the Swoop that students chant when a basket is made vibrates through the entire building. You can literally feel the school spirit moving through the crowd during the Homecoming basketball game. It sure doesn’t hurt having a D-I Basketball team but this final Homecoming event is where you see an entire week of campus involvement bring together a student body of thousands.
And the Winners Are…
Win or lose, by the end of the basketball game students are at the edge of their seats waiting to hear the results from the week’s events. A point system based on all of the week’s competitions reveals the winning team who will carry the name of Homecoming champions until next year’s games.
This year’s winners were Greek organizations Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Alpha Epsilon with some of the highest event participation Homecoming has yet to see. I would personally like to enormously congratulate the winning organizations and give an even bigger thank you to all of the other organizations who participated in Homecoming this year.
Living the Tradition
UNF does a truly incredible job putting on all of the week’s events but the real entertainment comes from the energetic students who participate in them. We may have had to hack the admissions Instagram page, but we sure didn’t feel like outsiders at those events. The welcoming atmosphere and outgoing students who frequent the Homecoming events were evidence of a mission accomplished. To see for yourself, all you have to do is take a walk around campus because the week after Homecoming is one of the most upbeat weeks UNF has to offer. Think you’re ready to join the flock? #GetYourFlockOn at next year’s events and maybe you’ll be taking home the Homecoming trophy! SWOOP!