We should strive to remember homecoming’s roots

Eduardo Alvarez/ Assistant Opinion Director

Whenever we hear a word often, it’s good to find out what it really means.

All my life, I’ve heard the term homecoming, an event not unlike prom, full of parties, school pride and other celebrations. Never having attended one of these events, I overlooked it’s greater significance.

Homecoming is a coming home of alumni. Typically a week-long event, the idea is to honor a given organization.

And since the legacy of schools is defined by its alumni, homecoming is a way to show those who represent the school out in the real world that their alma mater hasn’t forgotten them.

Of course, current students also partake in the fun. There are dances, picnics, tailgates and more.

A storm of networking conceivably takes over, since one of the best ways to interact with other people is to get to know them and do things together.

But homecoming has gotten a bad reputation in popular culture in a way that similar events, like prom, have not.

It’s become synonymous with all types of indulgences, a departure which has made us less conscious of the tradition’s original goals and values.

And homecoming is not alone in this trend. Memorial Day, for example, meant to honor those who died for the U.S., more readily recalls images of barbecues and beer.

Apparently, everything ends up bathed in liquor.

To me, the beer isn’t the problem, but the associations.

The whole point of having different events, differently named and dated, is to create observances.
Memorial Day and homecoming may both share traits with any old house party; but the reason they are holidays, traditions and not common get-togethers, is because of their greater meanings.

As such, when we celebrate homecoming, first and foremost, we’re celebrating the University, its students, alumni and wider community. Its past, present and future.

All things have a bedrock. A source.

What seems trivial may actually be grand and solemn.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community

Photo by Eduardo Merille on Flickr

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