Homecoming participation varies greatly

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Originating as a time for alumni and former community members to return home, Homecoming is a long-standing tradition of school pride and celebration. This week K-State is continuing the tradition, and is celebrating its annual All-University Homecoming week from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30.

While several schools claim to have held the first-ever Homecoming, the NCAA said the University of Missouri was the first university to have a Homecoming. The event was held in 1911 when the athletic director asked alumni to return to the university to help support the team as they played the University of Kansas. The week was filled with activities like dances, rallies and a parade.

“It’s everyone coming together, working together,” said Jen Santa Maria, junior in kinesiology and member of Alpha Xi Delta. “Homecoming is more unison than other events.”

K-State’s week began on Sunday with a philanthropy 5K race, which benefited the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, and several events followed. Spirit sign displays and residence hall comical games in the Crazy Cat Kickoff were just a few of the events that started the week’s festivities.

Another traditional event, Pant the Chant, was held Monday at Bramlage Coliseum. This event is held for student organizations, but it is commonly recognized as an event much of the greek system participates in.

Groups are given a certain amount of time to show their spirit through chants, and are judged by their creativity.

“It’s a stomp-the-ground type of routine,” said Santa Maria. “It’s cool; it sounds really cool hearing the guys and girls stomping together.”

Like many other events throughout the week, fraternities and sororities participate and are judged based on their efforts. Fraternities and sororities are paired together and earn points for each of the events they participate in. A winner is revealed at the end of the week.

Other events throughout the week include dancing, K-State ambassador elections, decorating competitions, a children’s carnival, a volleyball and football game, and a Homecoming parade and pep rally.

While Homecoming was never meant to be an event strictly for the greek system, it is often looked at in that manner, and many students do not find it an essential part of the school year.

“I don’t think it’s important; it’s not something I ever participate in,” said Collin Campbell, senior in kinesiology. “It’s only a greek thing nowadays.”

Campbell said he does go to the football game, but the fact that it is part of Homecoming week shouldn’t make it any more important than any other game.

“Every game is important, especially since we have to win just one more to go to a bowl,” he said.

Whether a student wants nothing to do with the week’s events, or they look forward to the week more than any other in the school year, it is a tradition across the nation that will continue to be an important part of any school’s history.

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