Homecoming is always an exciting time around campus, but this year is expected to be especially engaging.
Two big changes have been made by the university’s Homecoming Committee. The first is the return of Proclamation Day. On Monday, Nov. 7, at the amphitheater, the ceremony will commemorate the week of Homecoming (the details are still in the works), and the Homecoming Court will be announced.
Olivia Ellis, Student Government Association secretary of state and Homecoming Committee chair, said Proclamation Day has not been held in more than a dozen years, since the football team dissolved in 2003. Ellis said now that football is back, this news has excited many former Buccaneers.
“Dr. [Jeff] Howard [dean of students] said a lot of alumni are fired up about it coming back,” she said. “Proclamation Day is the official start to Homecoming.”
Ellis and her committee also elected to simplify the points system to take away the overall winner of the week-long series of competitions. While scoring will still award winners of competitions, like the best banner and best skit, the simplified scoring method will be more inclusive to all groups that want to participate but were intimidated by the competitive race for overall recognition.
“We’re hoping to encourage all of the groups; that’s the goal,” Ellis said. “I always say, ‘It’s Homecoming; it’s for everybody.'”
At halftime of the Homecoming football game on Saturday, Nov. 12, against Cumberland, the winners of the competition will be announced, and Homecoming King and Queen will be recognized.
While it is Ellis’s second year with SGA, it is her first year chairing the committee. She was tagged with selecting the theme this year, and as a fan of the recent blockbuster phenomenon, she decided there was one clear choice: superheroes.
“It was really fun to select that because it’s something very relatable,” she said. “Even if you aren’t into, say, Batman, you can do Katniss [of “The Hunger Games”], and people all love some kind of hero.”
While she admits to being nervous at first when she was tagged with chairing the committee, Ellis said Carter Warden, assistant director of student activities, has been an enormous help getting the planning to go smoothly and bringing the aforementioned excitement to alumni.
“I’m definitely really excited,” Ellis said. “I’ve loved working with Carter, and I think this is great to be a great Homecoming.”