Today is Wednesday, June 19, 2013
It’s easy to get caught up in Homecoming festivities. They’re exciting, they’re traditional and they have major benefits for our school. However, Homecoming also brings with it aspects that are less desirable.
Often, Homecoming’s problems stem from the same cause as its positives—its power as a tradition. There are some aspects that could be improved. However, majorly changing Homecoming could mean stripping it of its traditionalism and, by extension, its meaning. The most important thing students can do is keep perspective.
One of the best results of Homecoming is the accompanying boost to school spirit. It’s exciting to have a week that culminates in a parade, a game, and a dance. Major student organizations decorate halls and march in the parade—it’s both festive, and a way to celebrate our campus community. In addition, as it often takes place in the middle of the semester, it gives students something to focus on other than studying.
As Homecoming week approaches, so does the voting for a Homecoming Court. Homecoming Court is integral to the tradition of Homecoming. Often, though, seniors end up upset over what comes down to a popularity contest. It doesn’t take away from tradition to remember that while only 20 students are on Homecoming Court, hundreds are deserving of recognition.
Homecoming Court also brings with it a different sort of tradition—heterocentrism. The school does make an effort to make sure that the “couples” aren’t actually couples, but the term itself is rooted in the idea that “couples” are actually dating. By referring to the “couples” as “teams” or “pairs,” it would remove at least a little of that connotation.
Homecoming is schoolwide, but it’s arguably directed toward seniors the most. When schoolwork and college apps make the days seem bleak, Homecoming is a nice reminder that seniors have almost made it. This does come at a price, though—underclassmen are at least partially out of the loop for some of the festivities, during one of the biggest events at the year.
Recognizing seniors isn’t a bad thing, and it plays a major role in Homecoming’s meaning, since every year students are a year closer to seeing their classmates in skits, or even performing alongside them.
However, underclassmen often end up watching skits mostly performed by seniors they don’t know. And due to natural constraints in time and formatting of the skits, they aren’t likely to gain too much insight—despite the effort and creativity of all involved, skits have a tendency to repeat certain elements. Upperclassmen may be hard-pressed to a remember a skit that didn’t involve a quest ending with a dance-off.
Homecoming’s flaws don’t detract from its power to do good, but it’s important to remember that these flaws exist. By keeping perspective, we can temper the effects of its flaws while still embracing its benefits.