Homecoming gears up to be bigger and better than last year

The Carnegie Mellon campus is getting prepared to host another fun-filled weekend for the alumni who make the university so prestigious. Every year, the Student Homecoming Committee hosts a number of events during the weekend to reacquaint alumni with their alma mater. This year, the purpose remains the same but is being implemented in a manner different from past years.

This year’s Homecoming weekend has been structured along the lines of Spring Carnival, with a well-known comedian and free gifts at the Highland Games similar to those distributed at Midway during Booth.

Maricel Paz, a junior general CIT major and the chair of the Student Homecoming Committee, said that the committee has been trying to make students and alumni very enthusiastic about Homecoming.

“We’re trying to make it a bigger event and have it gain more recognition because it seems like most of the student body doesn’t even know about Homecoming,” Paz said. “We just want more exciting events that people could be enthusiastic about.”

They have promoted interest since the beginning of the semester by holding various recruitment events and spreading the word with events such as distributing free pastries early in the morning near the Cut.

The Homecoming Committee has also been collaborating with other student organizations, such as MayurSASA, Bhangra in the Burgh, Scotch’n’Soda, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Through the various events that these organizations will hold during Homecoming weekend, like the Battle of the Bands (hosted by Sigma Phi Epsilon), Bhangra in the Burgh, a Diwali and Eid ul-Fitr celebration (hosted by MayurSASA), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (a Scotch’n’Soda production) — the committee wants not only the alumni but also the current students to celebrate school pride.

This year, the Student Homecoming Committee has tried to increase the participation of current students in the events happening throughout the weekend.

The committee is trying to boost school pride and create a general understanding of the institution from which students get their degree. “We want students to know that it’s not just a piece of paper you get from here, but it’s the experience,” Paz said.
Even though many of the events are directed more towards the current students, Paz is hopeful that alumni will still show a lot of interest.

She hopes that, like last year, if an event catches an alumnus’ attention, he or she will definitely stop by, narrate an incident from his or her time, and share his or her experiences.

Paz mentioned that one of the events that was especially popular among the alumni was the Highland Games. According to the Carnegie Mellon website, in the Highland Games, the participants compete with their class — first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, or alumni groups — and they do so while they enjoy food, performances, and Scottish tradition. The Student Homecoming Committee wants attendees — whether they be alumni or current students — to go and support their teams.

The committee’s efforts in trying to attract a more students have paid off. A large number of students are expected to attend the events this year.

“Around 200 people have replied on each Facebook event, and the numbers can go higher because the events are hosted with a lot more organizations,” Paz said.

She thinks that the committee is still working up to a big Homecoming — something that may be possible in a few more years.

Paz also believes that the Loyal Scot program has the potential of attracting a lot of students and alumni as well. As mentioned on www.cmu.edu/loyalscot, one needs to follow four steps each year to be designated as a Loyal Scot.

Loyal Scots are also eligible for a number of small gifts — an incentive that Paz believes might draw more students towards the program.

Paz explained that attending different events during Homecoming can fulfill the requirements of at least one of the required four steps.

The members of the Homecoming Committee have worked very hard for the last six to eight months to plan and organize the upcoming Homecoming weekend.
They worked through the summer and collaborated with various organizations many times through the year to put up a good weekend and make Homecoming a time when both the alumni and the students remember what Carnegie Mellon has given them.