Campus Life, News

Overview of Homecoming 2016 competitors

Student organizations on campus are gearing up for one of the most celebrated traditions on campus: Homecoming. Alumni, staff, faculty, students and locals flocked to campus to attend the first events, the Opening Ceremony and Alma Mater competition. 

This year’s theme is “Make Your Move,” a throwback to conventional board games. The weeklong event will run until Nov. 4.

Despite Homecoming only lasting a week, 17 student organizations have spent months preparing for the seven events, hoping to hail school traditions, welcome returning alumni and take a crack at being the next Homecoming winners.

Past overall winners:


1st – Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC)

2nd – United Black Students (UBS)

3rd – Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) – Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapp) team


1st – Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC)

2nd – Association of Commuter Students (ACS)

3rd – United Black Students (UBS)


1st – Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC)

2nd – United Black Students (UBS)

3rd – Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA)


This year’s competitors:

Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC)

“Homecoming is a time where we all come together and celebrate our love for the university,” FEC President Sarah Betancourt said.

President: Sarah Betancourt

Homecoming Chair: Lorena Roman

Total members: 50

Previous overall rankings: 1st place (2013, 2014, 2015)

Favorite events: Alma Mater and Hurricane Howl

FEC is the team to beat with a seemingly winning recipe that has scored them three consecutive victories in a row. The Cuban student organization has members actively participating in all events, utilizing different strengths that helped them place in most of events, especially in the Alma Mater event, winning it three years in a row. Last year they also had two members winning Queen and Prince for the King and Queen pageant, helping them edge out other teams to win overall.

United Black Students (UBS)

“Homecoming is our favorite time of year for our organization,” UBS President Beja Turner said. “Our members can showcase their talents, meet more people, and, overall, just become more ingrained in our family throughout the week of Homecoming. Because of that, we look forward to this week every single year with high anticipation.”

President: Beja Turner

Homecoming Chair: Gabrielle Hand

Total Members: 106

Previous overall rankings: 2nd (2015), 3rd (2014), 2nd (2013)

Favorite events: Organized Cheer

UBS has been a consistent student organization when it comes to Homecoming events, placing top three each time in the past three years. They twice breathed down the necks of FEC last year and in 2013, and are one of the teams looking to dethrone them. UBS placed in nearly all events last year, winning O-Cheer and had Donovan Thomas’ creative talents winning King in the pageant but still came behind FEC.  

Association of Commuter Students (ACS)

“ACS has passionate commuter students who love their alma mater and we are in it, to win it,” ACS President Daniela Perez said.

President: Daniela Perez

Homecoming Chair: Carlos Rohl

Total members: 184

Previous overall rankings: 2nd (2014)

Favorite events: Alma Mater and Organized Cheer

Though ACS did not place last year or in 2013, students in different organizations consider the commuter student organization as one of the top four teams in strong contention for the victory. Their strengths lies in their numbers where they have enthusiastic members vying to compete in each event, along with a large number of supporters.

Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) – Phi Delta Theta

“Homecoming is when everyone across campus comes together to celebrate the U and create one big Canes family,” ZTA member Jacky Wohn said.

Homecoming Chair: Christina Radford, Julia Lewis

Total members: 145 (ZTA)

Previous overall rankings (in the past three years): 3rd (2015), 3rd (2013)


Favorite events: Organized Cheer and Hurricane Howl

As part of the homecoming festivities, various student organizations participate in Organized Cheer Tuesday evening at the Lakeside Patio. Zeta Tau Alpha and Pi Kappa Phi was the winning team. Kawan Amelung // Staff Photographer

As part of the homecoming festivities, various student organizations participate in Organized Cheer in 2015 at the Lakeside Patio. Zeta Tau Alpha and Pi Kappa Phi was the winning team. Kawan Amelung // Staff Photographer

No matter which fraternity ZTA is paired with, they have always shone in the past three Homecoming race. The only Greek life organization to rank top three in the past three years, ZTA’s strength in the race comes from dominating O-Cheer, where they took first place in 2015 and 2013, and second place in 2014, all with different partners. Each time the sorority wins O-Cheer in the past years, they manage to finish overall in the top three. Ranking in an additional event could see ZTA finishing above third place.

Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO)

“One of the biggest part is we have a lot of alumni who come back and a lot of them like to come to the office and see what we are up to,” COISO President Rick Lin said. “Taking part in events show how much we continue the tradition. And it is always a lot of fun.”

President: Rick Lin

Homecoming Chair: Eric Sun, Vicky Kalfayan, Megan Mathew

Total members: 60

Previous overall rankings: nil

Favorite events: Alma Mater and Spirit Tree

The international student organization has participated in every event for the past three Homecoming yet have not managed to crack the top three. Spirit Tree has been their strongest event, placing in the top three every year yet fall behind in major events such as Alma Mater or O-Cheer. Other organizations have taken note of their cheerful presence in past Homecomings, but COISO needs to rank in other events to finish strong.

Other teams participating:

  • Alpha Sigma Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • Chinese Students Scholars Association (CSSA)
  • Delta Phi Epsilon and Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Sigma
  • Engineering Advisory Board
  • Lambda Chi Omega
  • Phi Sigma Phi
  • Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC)
  • Sigma Delta Tau and Pi Kappa Phi
  • UCatholic

Homecoming Timetable:

Saturday (Oct. 29):

–      Hurricanes Help The Hometown: Various locations at 9 a.m.

Monday (Oct. 31):

–      Spirit Tree: Ashe building at 11 a.m.

Tuesday (Nov. 1):

–      King and Queen: Student Center Ballrooms at 7 p.m.

Wednesday (Nov. 2):

–       Organized Cheer: Lakeside Patio at 7 p.m.

Friday (Nov. 4):

–       Parade: Stanford Drive at 7 p.m.

–       Hurricane Howl, Boat Burning: Lake Osceola at 8:30 p.m.

October 29, 2016


Isabella Cueto

Isabella Cueto can be reached via email at and through Twitter at @isabellacueto.

Marcus Lim

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