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Homecoming needs to go home

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graphic courtesy of The Everyman blog
graphic courtesy of The Everyman blog

Homecoming originated in the United States in the late 1800s and signified the coming home of former residents and alumni, and it quickly grew to include events and activities specific to each area.

Over the years, homecoming has morphed from a single night meant to welcome back those who have moved on, to an entire week of pep rallies, parades, class competitions and individual recognitions.

In other words, homecoming no longer focuses on welcoming back alumni but on highlighting the goals and accomplishments of current students.

This transformation makes sense in high school because students spend more time together as a class.  They know each other and competition is a foundation of success. High school students are expected to have a favorite; they are expected to enjoy an organized, chaperoned dance, and they are expected to desire competing against each other for a crown and title.

It makes sense because they are teenagers.

After graduation from high school, students should start to make their own choices. They should gain responsibility and realize that the real world won’t care if a person wore a dress and won a crown in the middle of a football field on a freezing cold night.

In college, recognition should come in the form of scholarships, internships, degrees and employment.

“None of the students care about homecoming. It’s just a way for the university to get publicity. Students don’t care about the dance. The only thing they do is the game,” said Josh Redmond, a student at CSU-Pueblo.

Another student said “Beer and football. That is enough to create school pride and have an awesome turnout for the football game. We don’t know the people running for homecoming court. Why would we vote for them?”

The popularity contest that goes hand in hand with homecoming needs to end with high school. The university should focus on the collegiate aspects of the event like celebrating alumni and football.