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UW-River Falls Homecoming successful despite fewer events

October 1, 2009

UW-River Falls Homecoming took place this year with many participants and events allowing students, faculty and alumni the chance to show off their school spirit.

Compared to previous years, this year’s Homecoming did not have as many events taking place.

“We kind of scaled back a little bit in order to focus on getting attendance increased in these main [Homecoming] events,” Student Organizations and Greek Life Coordinator Matt Levine said. “We want students to feel like they’re invited and included.”

Homecoming week started off on Sept. 20 with window painting on Main Street businesses. Eight groups participated in this event, painting tributes to their organizations, Greek life and to the University.

The next event did not take place until Sept. 24, where Falcon Programs Traditions Coordinator Maranda Mahr planned a cornhole (bean bag) tournament that was open to the entire University.

“Cornhole is considered a really old game,” Mahr said. “It’s a different entertainment that came before video games and that kind of thing, which can fi t well with our theme.”

The tournament took place outside the University Center and had more than 30 groups of people participating in the event and hundreds of spectators, according to Mahr.

“I like it because anyone can play,” Tyler Flynn, a participant of the cornhole tournament, said. “It’s nice to get outdoors and meet some new people. It’s good old-fashioned fun.”

Homecoming week continued on Sept. 25 with the popular Lip Sync contest and comedy show night, featuring comedian Dan Cummins.

“It was really fun, I had never been to a lip sync before. The comedian was hilarious,” Rachel Lewis, a spectator of the event, said. “I will defi nitely come back to it next year.”

Lip Sync was pushed back later in the week this year compared to previous Homecoming weeks in order to allow more people to be involved.

“The lip sync was usually showcased on a Wednesday night but we fi gured why not put it on a Friday night so that alumni can come and participate,” Events Coordinator Karyn Wells said.

The Homecoming parade, which included fl oats from the sororities, fraternities, student organizations and more-as well as the Homecoming tailgate party, which included live music, food and games-wrapped up the week before the Falcon football game against Alma College.

In addition to the events, student organizations and Greek Life participated in a canned food drive to be donated to local food shelters like the Ronald McDonald House and Turning Point, a local shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

“As a sorority and member of the Greek Life community we are trying to send the message that we are proud of the University and community which is why we pushed to have the numerous drives brought back this year,” Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority member Danielle Boyum said. “We are excited about all the events this year, but especially the drive.”

Something else that was different this year was the Homecoming royalty, or lack thereof. Traditionally, Greek sororities and fraternities compete against each other during Homecoming week in order for their group to win Homecoming. This year, Greek Life has worked together to compete in the events instead of competing against each other.

“Whether or not there was royalty this year, Greeks are here to stay. We love Homecoming and we love being Greek,” Alpha Omicron Pi President Lauren Chapman said. “We missed the royalty as all Greeks did [though.]”

Although previous years included more events, the events that took place this year were highlighted more and organized in a different way.

“There [were] less things happening but there [were] more resources being put forth to the three main events,” Levine said.

Many people participated in the Homecoming events this year, and it was right on track with the estimated participation levels, according to Levine.

“We’re trying to build a framework,” Wells said, “and try new things so that we can make Homecoming more successful for the future.”