By Diana Leyva Jacob
Alumni won’t be able to come to the hill for homecoming this year.
Instead, campus officials are planning virtual events to attempt to connect with alumni in the midst of a pandemic that makes gatherings like homecoming impossible.
“I think for our emotional well-being, it is important to try to capture as much of a sense of normalcy, so that’s what we hope to do by sharing these virtual events,” said Michael Johnson, director of alumni and church engagement.
An online kit is available for $25, which includes access to the virtual live stream, a Trevecca mask and t-shirt, candy, and popcorn. Ten dollars from each purchase will go towards the Fund for Trevecca Scholarship.
While university officials aren’t allowing anyone on campus other than currently enrolled students, there are plans in the works for some homecoming events for students.
Although many of the homecoming events will not be taking place, such as the parade, dance, or basketball game, the J.O McClurkan pilgrimage is still scheduled to take place on Monday of that week.
SGA has organized dress up days all week that will follow the theme of “Dear old TNU.” On Friday, there will be various bonfire locations. Finally, homecoming will conclude on Saturday with the street fair and residence hall events that night.
The street fair will be free and provide food, drinks, and fall treats that follow the “thankful to be a trojan” theme. There will also be a variety of games and prize giveaways such as AirPods, a JBL speaker, and a television. The homecoming court will be presented during the street fair and homecoming king and queen will be announced.
Masks and social distancing will be required during all homecoming events. According to Erica Wigart, ASB president, class presidents have a responsibility to enforce the rules.
Ensuring the success of homecoming has been a shared group effort between everyone in SGA, said Rachel Thompson, social life coordinator.
In past years, each class would be in charge of planning and overseeing individual events, but this year everyone has combined their resources. Wigart credits the success of planning and organizing to her team of class presidents and delegation within the executive team.
“They are all so capable, and so intelligent. They are just absolutely so passionate about the jobs that they are doing, so they’re really great,” Wigart said.
Homecoming isn’t just about the alumni, it is very much a student event, said Johnson. He wants all students to identify Trevecca with home.
“It’s about helping your heart find a home. And the students that you go to class with and the professors that you interact with, they become a family unit in a sense. Home is where the heart is, so I want current students to feel like that, at least for this particular weekend we’re focusing on,” he said.
Wigart’s hope for homecoming is that people can come out and be in an environment where they can gather as a community, even if it’s distanced and masked.
“Come out and celebrate the fact that were still here. And we still have each other. That’s what homecoming is supposed to be about, especially right now. It’s supposed to be looking at the things we have instead of the things we don’t and making the most of the time we’ve been given,” Wigart said.