Planning underway for homecoming week as students gather to discuss ideas and events

Estefania Rodriguez

Texas Exes and Student Government representatives met with students at the Alumni Center Tuesday to discuss plans for a homecoming week, which students voted in favor of during SG elections last month. 

The week may coincide with the Iowa State football game next semester. Students at the meeting said they were hopeful it would connect the UT community and create a tradition to rival those at Texas A&M University, something they said was missing on the UT campus.

“I think adding a tradition to the University … down the line could really bring a lot of students together from different parts of campus,” said Adraint Bereal, art design sophomore and SG homecoming chair. “It has the potential to bridge those communities and be something to really embrace the spirit of UT.”

Students wanted to ensure that the homecoming festivities would be inclusive and incorporate everyone on campus. Government sophomore Alfredo Valenzuela said it would be best to reach out to all the student organizations to see how they could contribute.

“I think it would be really cool to have a homecoming parade with all the student organizations and Greek life to decorate their own floats and stuff like that,” Valenzuela said. 

The idea of a parade came up often as a priority in getting students and alumni engaged with the festivities, although some students expressed their worries about the logistics of such an event.

“We do need to be a little bit careful … just historically a lot of the kind of parades that have been associated with UT haven’t been super positive,” said Mehraz Rahman, marketing and Plan II junior and incoming SG vice president. “For example, torch light parades or the parades that used to be associated with Round Up — so we need to be cognizant of that.”

Other ideas suggested to celebrate homecoming week included a field day, an Orange and White Ball and a homecoming court. Representatives specifically asked for feedback about how to structure the homecoming court in a way that would be inclusive to all students. 

“A mission of ours is to make (the homecoming court) gender non-binary so that anyone could be crowned,” said Rebecca Spencer, mechanical engineering junior and Texas Exes student ambassador. “We also really want to avoid making it a popularity contest.”