Committee reveals board game theme for Homecoming Week 2016

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Popular childhood games will make a comeback on campus during “Make Your Move” Homecoming Week 2016. The event, which runs Oct. 28 through Nov. 5, will give a nod to a classic form of entertainment before modern technology: board games.

The theme was announced during the reveal event at the Rock Wednesday afternoon, unveiled by Sebastian the Ibis and HEC chair Ashley Pittaluga, who said she strives to make Homecoming as fun for students as possible.

HEC came up with the idea for the theme in Spring 2016 with hopes that it would bring a spirit of nostalgia to campus.

Lauren Rodriguez, one of the three HEC vice chairs, said she loves how the theme encourages students to channel their younger selves during Homecoming events.

“I love the theme. When we were little kids, we all played board games, and I think that everyone will be able to enjoy it,” Rodriguez said. “It is a throwback and I am excited to see what organizations would do with the theme. This will bring out the child in them.”

During the week of events, student organizations compete against each other in spirited events to celebrate the annual return of UM alumni and the continuation of university traditions.

“We want to have fun and provide fun for the teams,” Pittaluga said. “We want to sit back, enjoy and provide a great atmosphere that is very spirited and very fun.”

Pittaluga has taken part in Homecoming for three years, first as a committee member, then as a vice chair and now as the chair. She said the week of events is personally significant because of her family’s connection to the university.

“Homecoming has been part of my life my whole life. My dad is an alum and I have been coming here since I was little,” Pittaluga said.

The week will consist of 10 traditional Homecoming events and a few new events, all of which will be based on a board game. “The Game of Life,” “Operation” and “Guess Who?” are just three of the many options that will be assigned in the next few weeks.

Pittaluga said the committee is eager to see how student organizations will incorporate the theme, each creating costumes, choreography, songs and decorations. Part of the theme’s strength is that it is broad enough to encompass a range of ideas, Pittaluga said.

“People were excited about this. It was developed really well and is very versatile,” Pittaluga said.

While Homecoming is a creative competition with the common goal of celebrating the university, the Federation of Cuban Students, also known as FEC, has another goal: setting a university record. FEC has been the champion organization for three years running and would set a Homecoming record were they to win a fourth title in a row.

“We just want to be original, have fun and enjoy Homecoming and we should turn out okay,” said Daniel Carbonero, FEC treasurer.

At the end of each Homecoming week is an annual boat-burning ceremony called Hurricane Howl. Students, faculty, alumni and members of the community all come out to enjoy food, music and the closing ceremony. According to Hurricane Howl tradition, if the mast falls before the boat sinks, UM will win their next football game.

The night ends with a dazzling shower of fireworks above Lake Osceola – something Rodriguez, a senior, said will cap off her final year as a Hurricane.

“It’s really fun as it is the last day to celebrate how wonderful UM is. The ending of the best week ever,” Rodriguez said.

For more information, visit UM Homecoming’s Facebook page.

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6 Comments

  1. As a sophomore, this is my first homecoming at the University of Miami because I participated in the UM in DC program last fall. I am looking forward to my first homecoming and the opportunity to celebrate the university alongside my peers. I think that this theme allows for many different students and faculty to get involved in their own ways. This theme is definitely different and I am excited to see how this shift away from technology will play out. Marcus Lim definitely captured the idea that many people are passionate about the theme as well as the importance of student involvement for homecoming. I can’t wait!

  2. As an international student at UM, homecoming weeks always have a lot of fun to me and definitely I attend the event every year. I still remember the fabulous homecoming event on the halloween night last year.
    Now I am a senior and it will be the last homecoming week for me at the university life. The childhood game theme sounds really interesting and will remind me of my family and friends in China! Can’t wait to see it!

  3. Sydney Mastrandrea on

    I am a junior at UM and I feel that the board game theme for Homecoming week is a very special and unique choice. I agree with Marcus Lim that the theme will bring a spirit of nostalgia throughout campus, and that it is the perfect alternative to modern technology. As someone who is already in my third year of college, it is refreshing to have the opportunity to feel like a kid again.

  4. Gregory O'Bannon on

    I agree with Lexee. I’ve been rooting for something like this for a couple of years now an it’s great to finally see it happening. I was (and still am) a huge fan of board games so I’m definitely hype for homecoming now! The article didn’t mention it, but I’m rally hoping to see Monopoly incorporated into the week as well. Great article, definitely learned something new today!

  5. Victoria McKaba on

    I’m excited to see how the different student organizations will tackle this fun and nostalgic theme. As a senior at UM, I want my last homecoming to be an amazing time to celebrate this incredible university. It’s clear that Ashley and the rest of the HEC committee put a lot of thought and time into this theme, making sure there was enough diversity for the student orgs to put their own personal stamp on it. Marcus Lim did a great job reporting and by mentioning FEC’s reign and the possibility of breaking a record, it makes this story very exciting!

  6. I’m a freshman at UM and I’m very excited for homecoming! I think that this year’s theme is really interesting. Since I was at the Rock for the reveal of the theme, I was able to see other students react to the theme and I think everyone is really excited. This story is very well reported and I like that Marcus Lim interviewed several students on the committee to really emphasize the idea of student involvement with homecoming.