NIU looks back at past Homecomings

By Mark Mazzon

It’s Homecoming time again, and as always The Northern Star searched its files to come up with some interesting facts about the goings-on during Homecoming in previous years.

1991—Thursday before the Homecoming game a “fishbowl” of condoms was stolen from the Wellness Center of the Holmes Student Center.

The perpetrator reportedly said to the student working at the counter, “I’m just going to take the whole thing, OK?” He then picked up the bowl of 250 condoms and walked away.

1986—The Huskie Football Team loses to Miami, Ohio 20-6 in the Homecoming game, making it a clean sweep by teams from the Miamis. Several weeks earlier, the Huskies were blown away by Miami, Fla. 34-0.

The team included several players who would go on to NFL fame, including Vinny Testeverde (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Michael Irvin (Dallas Cowboys), Winston Moss (Los Angeles Raiders), Jerome Brown (Philadelphia Eagles), Benne Blades (Detroit Lions) and Alonzo Highsmith (Houston Oilers).

1986—The theme was “Mardi Gras: A Taste of Bourbon Street.” Does someone want to explain how that relates to a university in a small town in a Midwestern state?

1985—Tuesday before the Homecoming game a fire at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house does $200,000 in damage and leaves 48 homeless.

“It was a setback for a while, but it didn’t really hurt us in the long run,” said then Sigma Phi Epsilon President Earl Farkas a year later. The fraternity wound up finishing third in the Homecoming competition in spite of the fire.

1982—Some things never change. Ten years ago, just as today, the University Professionals of Illinois was attempting to unionize the faculty on campus. Just as it is today, the main issue was collective bargaining.

1979—Some things shouldn’t change. The University Council voted to keep Homecoming kings as men and Homecoming queens as women. The vote came after the Student Association passed a resolution to allow women to run for king and men to run for queen.