The University of Miami’s 2009 Homecoming may just be the best yet for incoming freshmen.
Homecoming will see its very first masquerade ball, and though open to all, will be geared toward freshmen. It will take place after opening ceremonies on Friday, October 30th.
Not only are freshmen encouraged to attend, but they will also have the opportunity to help plan the event through a freshman committee. Applications will be provided at Canefest, the annual organization fair, in the fall.
This freshman committee will work closely with the Executive Homecoming Committee. Senior Billy Fuchsman is the chair and Christina Farmer is one of the vice chairs.
“Many freshmen aren’t involved in organizations in the fall, so this is the best way to bring freshmen into homecoming,” Fuchsman said.
Beginning in 1931, University of Miami homecoming traditions are almost 80 years old. Each year the Homecoming Committee decides on a new theme. While 2009’s is not yet released, the previous three years have seen “Once Upon a U,” “Showcasing the U” and “Rendez-vous with Greatness.”
Both old and new traditions comprise the University of Miami’s week of homecoming festivities, which culminate with the football game.
Hurricane Help the Town is one tradition where groups of students are shuttled throughout the community for a day of service.
“It is the first major service day of the year,” Farmer said.
A blood drive and several organization competitions also take place during Homecoming Week. In the alma mater competition, campus organizations perform their own version. The winning team earns the right to perform its rendition at the football game.
The most popular homecoming festivity, “Hurricane Howl,” is the night before the football game. Organizations make floats and the community comes out to watch the parade. Free food and attractions are available on the University Center Green.
“As a pledge I got to help out making my frat’s float,” said Jared Sekar, a Phi Delta Theta member. “The night of the parade was a lot of fun.”
Following the festivities is the boat burning ceremony on Lake Osceola. According to tradition, if the mast falls before the boat sinks the Hurricanes will win the game.
Last year’s Hurricane Howl, which featured a concert from N*E*R*D, entertained 5,000 students.
“My freshman year’s concert was Talib Kweli,” junior Judy Hartshorn said. “I couldn’t believe how many people were there.”
Following the excitement of Hurricane Howl, fans gear up for the homecoming football game. The Canes will face the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday, November 7th.