In Focus: What does homecoming mean to you?


This Friday marks the apex of Homecoming 2010 activities. A king and queen will be crowned, alumni will join students in watching NIU play Buffalo, and there will be much rejoicing.

For this week’s “In Focus,” various Northern Star columnists will weigh in on this question: What do you think the purpose of homecoming is, and what do you think is the best to celebrate school spirit?

Aaron Brooks, columnist: The purpose of homecoming is to blow off steam. All semester long students have been working diligently every weekend towards their academics (wink). With midterms done, we have the opportunity to be stress-free and throw discretion, along with puke, into the wind. The best way to celebrate school spirit is to make the most out of this weekend. Do whatever you need to do to satisfy your right to party, for the countdown to research paper deadlines and finals starts on Monday.

Phil Case, columnist: Although homecoming is supposed to be a chance for alumni to return to their old student stomping grounds, it is really more of a chance for the fraternities and sororities to celebrate for a week straight. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, but I have not really experienced any homecoming activities this week. Nonetheless, I am glad that school spirit is being increased. Having said that, school spirit needs to extend past the football field and manifest itself in the realms it was meant to entail: academic success, community involvement, and yes, a healthy social life.

Jessica Jenks, columnist: The purpose of homecoming is to come home. The best way to celebrate school spirit is to rescue a husky, name it Spirit, and teach it to do tricks. The husky will pee all over your carpet, but you will love it anyway. You will make a cake out of dog food for this canine’s birthday. The cake will read “Happy Birthday, Spirit!” With a mouthful of dog food you will celebrate the huskie, Spirit. Go NIU!

Portia Kerr-Newman, columnist: Homecoming is a time usually around the middle of the semester where students can take a break from their studies and come together to show school spirit. Every homecoming needs a football game and form of a pep rally. Most school spirit is displayed during these events. You have students with painted faces, people screaming in your ear, laughter and lots of people you probably have not seen before. During homecoming your bound to see something you have not seen before. It is a chance to meet people and have a good time.

Kathryn Minniti, columnist: The purpose of homecoming is to celebrate our football team “coming home” from being away for two games and also to have school spirit. Homecoming week is one of the most exciting and busiest weeks. Everyone is rushing to get their homework and studying done so they can go out and celebrate. For me, the best way to celebrate school spirit is to not only go out during the week and party but to tailgate and go to the game on Saturday. So put on a Huskie’s jersey or T-shirt and lets show some pride.

Logan Short, columnist: Homecoming has several purposes. There is the honest purpose of creating a week where the entire campus can come together as one body, root for the home team, and celebrate together as Huskies. I do believe also, that homecomings are a way of marketing a school, to draw attention to it with various events for alumna, attract prospective students and make current students excited to be a part of this campus. It’s not a sneaky corporate plan; it’s just a perk of a fun event. Homecoming is and should always be just a week of positive attitudes and activities focused on our school.

Taurean Small, columnist: Homecoming is not just any celebration. It is a statement of your loyalty to NIU and a declaration of your pride in being a Huskie. But for some, it will be “that weekend I blacked out.” As such, it is only right to celebrate it the right way this year. So if you are old enough to drink, try to be mindful of others when attending public functions. Nothing screams Huskie Pride more than a violence and vomit-free homecoming weekend.