Changes to accompany ‘It’s a Scream’ activites

By Stephanie Bradley

Although NIU’s Homecoming will be as unique an event as homecoming weekends usually are, changes have been made in NIU’s traditional Homecoming celebration.

One controversial change involves the Homecoming float contest. Jeff Cufaude, activities adviser for University Programming and Activities, said fraternities and sororities no longer are able to enter floats in the contest in order to win points toward the Homecoming trophy. Greek organizations, however, still will be allowed to display a float in the parade.

Time and costs forced the ban on entering floats, Cufaude said. Fraternity members said the amount of money and time spent on building Homecoming floats could be put to better use.

The ban on earning points for floats might force fraternities and sororities to work harder to earn points in other Homecoming competitions. Interfraternity Council President Tom Zur said, in previous years, winning the Homecoming trophy was impossible without winning the float contest.

Another major change in Homecoming is the elimination of the dance contest in favor of a talent show, Linda Germann, Campus Activities Board festivals coordinator, said. Fifteen positions for students and five slots for NIU alumni, faculty and staff were offered for the 8 p.m. show Friday.

The first place award for faculty, staff and alumni includes a weekend in Oak Brook and tickets to a play at Drury Lane Theater. Students winning first place will receive $100, two round-trip plane tickets to anywhere in the United States, a Sony Walkman and a McCabes sweatsuit, she said.

Because Halloween and Homecoming coincide this year, students who usually leave NIU in droves for other schools, such as Southern Illinois University in Carbondale or the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, might stay in DeKalb for the weekend.

Germann said the theme for this year’s Homecoming is “It’s a Scream” because the event falls on Halloween weekend.

She said there will be a different attitude toward Homecoming this year, and a greater emphasis is being placed on the football team and the Homecoming game than in previous years.

Homecoming “week” also will be shorter this year, starting on Thursday with the “Yell Like Hell” cheering contest in the Chick Evans Fieldhouse, she said. The contest will be followed by a flashlight pep rally with the NIU football team and Coach Jerry Pettibone. The “Yell Like Hell” and banner contest winners will be announced at the rally.

Germann and Cufaude said other Homecoming events will proceed as usual, including the canoe race, softball and volleyball competitions, “Yell Like Hell,” and the banner and spirit contests. Musical and comedy entertainment also will be offered this week as in past Homecoming celebrations.