Homecoming theme causes confusion

Homecoming at UM is still more than a month away, but planning for the spirited competitions tied to the annual event kicked off this week.

When the Homecoming Executive Committee (HEC) last week announced this year’s theme, “The Tried, The True, The U,”  students in the crowd expressed confusion over what that would mean.

“The theme, compared to others in the past, doesn’t give a clear picture,”  senior Danny Diaz said.

But the meaning of “The Tried, The True, The U” became much clearer on Monday night, at the first of HEC’s mandatory weekly team meetings, in which students discussed themes, rule changes and the logistics behind Homecoming events.

“We want to honor the past, present and future of UM,” HEC chair Lara Lackstein said. “We want to bring back alumni spirit and past traditions.”

Homecoming is a yearly event, centered around a designated football game, that brings together every group on campus through a series of competitions. The general theme serves as the motif for the week, but there are also sub-themes for each event, including O-Cheer, the Alma Mater, and float competition.

“The first few meetings are dedicated to picking the theme,” said Bhumi Patel, co-chair of the Alma Mater committee. “We narrow it down to possible themes and vote every time. Then we finalize sub-committee themes.”

In the past, Homecoming culminated in a dance, according to Lackstein. But that hasn’t been the case for several years. So this year, the committee set out to revive that celebration with the O-Cheer sub-theme, “Let’s Dance the Last Dance.”

At next week’s team meeting, the members of each organization will be assigned a movie to emulate in their performance. O-Cheer will be held Oct. 17 in the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse.

For the Alma Mater competition – the preliminaries Oct. 12 and finals Oct. 18 at the Rock – each team will remix the school’s traditional alma mater tune along with other songs that pertain to the competition’s sub-theme.

This year, the teams will be given a list of famous musical alumni, including Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias and Jon Secada, and will be asked to incorporate at least two of their hit songs into their routine.

The winners of this competition get to sing the alma mater at Sun Life Stadium before the homecoming game against Florida State University on Oct. 20.

Homecoming festivities culminate with the parade of floats around Stanford Drive and the boat-burning ceremony on Oct. 19.

The leaders of two of the largest student organizations on campus have both said that they cannot wait for all of the Homecoming competitions to begin.

Justin Borroto, president of La Federacion de Estudiantes Cubanos, said he is looking forward to seeing “The Tried, The True, The U” unfold during Homecoming Week.

“At first, I was kind of confused about what it meant, but after hearing the explanation and sub-themes, I got really excited,” Borroto said. “I like the idea of truly being able to celebrate every UM tradition and its meaning.”

Danny Diaz, president of the Association of Commuter Students, ultimately shared a similar sentiment.

“When you go deep into the thought behind the slogan, I find it very honorable that it commemorates homecomings of the past and our great alumni,” Diaz said.