Homecoming eliminates floats, makes changes

Joanna Adolph

Giant floats made of papier mA›che used to be Homecoming staples, but those who look for the floats this year may miss them.

“We just didn’t have good participation last year,” said Justin Jeffery, homecoming chairperson and president of Kent Interhall Council. “The stationary floats just weren’t as successful as we thought, and some people left their floats at the Fieldhouse, so it actually cost the university a lot to remove them.”

This year’s Homecoming will still provide a week-long slate of activities for students, alumni, parents and the Kent community, along with a few changes.

Earlier than ever

The biggest change is the early date – less than a month after the start of school. Normally the event is held in October, said Nancy Schiappa, associate director of alumni relations.

While the date cannot be controlled because it is based on the team’s schedule, Schiappa said she thinks the change may actually work in Homecoming’s favor.

“The old date was in October around mid-terms,” Schiappa said. “Students were busy studying and faculty was grading papers. We’re hoping they won’t have that to conflict with the slate of activities we have this year.”

Jeffery also said he thinks the time change will be good for students.

“I know it’s early, but it has some perks – it will be warmer,” Jeffery said. “I think it’s going to be good for (the organizations) too, because students will be out early making friends and getting involved earlier in the year.”

President’s Spirit Cup

Throughout Homecoming week, student organizations will vie with each other in a series of contests to determine which will win the Homecoming 2005 President’s Spirit Cup competition.

The President’s Spirit Cup, which is awarded based on the number of points earned in several rounds of judging, was officially authorized by President Carol Cartwright in time to be implemented this year.

New location

The President’s Spirit Cup competition kicks off with the Student Center window competition on Wednesday and the bonfire and pep rally Thursday.

One of Homecoming’s traditional highlights, the bonfire and pep rally, is being moved from Manchester Field to Centennial Greens this year.

“Manchester Field is being re-seeded this year,” Jeffery said. “They aren’t allowed to have equipment out there so they can make sure the grass grows in fully.”


Students will also find that Homecoming’s largest event, Saturday’s pre-game Homecoming Extravaganza, will be bigger this year.

“We want to get out as much information as possible about the activities here,” said Matthew Butts, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “You could literally spend a whole day experiencing a multitude of events.”

Eleven new university departments have joined the activity this year, Schiappa said, and there has been a big push to get student organizations to host games at their tables.

Experience Kent State Day

Even without the games, organizations may see an extra boost of activity around their tables this year.

Experience Kent State Day and Homecoming have been combined into Experience Homecoming.

“Admissions is sponsoring a day for Kent State alumni who have college-age students to see the campus,” Schiappa said. “We’ve especially targeted alumni who have high school students who are prospective.”

Campus tours and other activities for alumni and prospective students will be held throughout the week.

“What better time to bring your son or daughter back to campus?” Butts said. “Most things will be open so it’s a good time to bring people back.”

Contact alumni affairs reporter Joanna Adolph at [email protected].