Barring a certain Tiger encounter on Saturday, Homecoming this year was a pleasant surprise.
Last year in this page we criticized Homecoming for being exclusive, uneventful and poorly publicized, passing by largely unnoticed in the semester. We remained skeptical that effective changes would be implemented to improve the festivities.
However, the new Homecoming system established by the Homecoming Executive Committee [HEC] that made the celebration last one week instead of three succeeded in bringing more students and alumni together. A greater number of alumni attended Homecoming events because they all took place in one week, and that made the tradition more meaningful, since welcoming alumni is what Homecoming is supposed to be all about. They came with their kids and grandkids to the petting zoo and bumper cars during Hurricane Howl and mingled with students during the fireworks and parade.
Furthermore, because the HEC aggressively publicized Homecoming and scheduled the events closer together, more students participated in the celebrations than last year. Particularly on Friday night, the crowd can largely be attributed to the much-anticipated Wyclef Jean concert. Enthusiastic students praised the performance, so bringing a well known artist with popular college-age appeal proved to be smart move by the HEC, one they should keep in mind for future Homecomings.
Despite these highlights, some organizations that participated in the Homecoming competition complained, as we expected, that they lost events because of the new point system that divides organizations by their membership numbers rather than by their Greek or non-Greek status. Yet, we dismiss most of these complaints because, as we’ve said in the past, the competition should not be the focal point of Homecoming. We found that the new system still allowed organizations to compete on a relatively even playing field and still encouraged friendly rivalries to thrive. Moreover, sororities and fraternities endured a tough reality-check as two non-Greek organizations, Federaci