Kent State shows its Homecoming spirit at parade

Kent State’s color guard performs at a Homecoming pep rally and spirit walk on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. The pep rally featured the 2013 Homecoming court as well as players from the football, volleyball and field hockey teams. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

Jimmy Miller

Members of the Kent State marching band, cheerleader squad, fall sports organizations and even Flash made an appearance Thursday afternoon on the Student Green for the annual Homecoming spirit walk and pep rally.

The mass of students marched from Risman Plaza down past Eastway, Tri-Towers and Centennial courts for the spirit walk. The group gathered at the end of the walk on the Student Green to begin the pep rally at about 12:30.

“(The events) kick-start Saturday’s activities,” graduate student Sariya Winters said. Winters, who was in charge of the event, also said, “(The pep rally) gets the school spirit going.”

After the spirit walk ended, the pep rally began with the Kent fight song played by the band and a cheer from the cheerleaders. “K-S-U” chants broke out after the music ended and were then quieted by the announcement of the Homecoming court.

Football head coach Paul Haynes took the microphone and discussed the rematch of last year’s Mid-American Conference title game, when Kent State fell to Northern Illinois for a spot in the Orange Bowl.

“Wear your gold,” Haynes told the students about Saturday’s Homecoming matchup.

After a brief dance competition among representatives from organizations in attendance, the volleyball and field hockey players informed students about the games they have over Homecoming weekend.

After a few closing statements and a reminder about Saturday’s game versus the Huskies, the pep rally concluded and students left the Student Green.

This was the first year these two programs were put on during the day rather than in the evening. Winters formed a three-person group that wanted to appeal to commuter students who historically do not attend because they have left campus by the time the event begins. A bonfire also used to follow the event, but Winters said that tradition is no longer permitted.

“(The event) was pretty good,” said freshman accounting major Tyler Fairchild, who commutes to campus. “(I would like them to be) maybe more involved. I’m probably going to the other activities.”

The group, also composed of junior technology major John Camargo and senior communication studies major Kristopher Caccamise, aspired to reach out to students who just walked in the nearby area during the event, and to increase the involvement with Greek foundations.

The group began planning during the summer in order to prepare for the event. Winters said she wanted to figure out what could be improved from previous pep rallies and how to integrate other sports rather than just the football team. The student committee began meeting regularly once school began, and stressed promotion and organization since its inception.

“It really brings together the university,” Caccamise said. “Everybody who went really enjoyed it. We met our goals.”

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].