‘The Originals’ bring it back to basics

In the past, Homecoming participation has been dominated by Greek life, but this year one team decided to go back to its roots and get classic, giving birth to “The Originals.” The team, comprised of the College Union Board (CUB), Delta Sigma Pi, Leadership Development Program (LDP) and Student Government Association (SGA), paid homage to the organizations of the past that helped start Spirit Week at the College 20 years ago.

CUB, LDP and SGA were approached by members of the Homecoming Committee last spring, who wanted to know if the organizations would be interested in echoing teams of the past by participating in a sort of Homecoming reunion this year.

“We agreed with the Homecoming Committee that it would be appropriate if the founders of Spirit Week took part in the 20th anniversary of it, so we formed a team comprised of SGA, CUB and LDP,” Alanna Jamieson, president of LDP, said.

Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity, later joined after expressing interest in a Homecoming team of its own. Many of the fraternity’s seniors wanted a chance to participate in their last Homecoming here at the College.

“Delta Sigma Pi, which is a member of the Inter-Greek Council, hasn’t done the best job of reaching out to the rest of the Greek community when it comes to the social aspect of campus life,” Kevin Kent, senior accounting major and vice president of Delta Sigma Pi, said. “We saw this as the perfect opportunity to really get involved in something and it was definitely a step in the right direction.”

“The name came as a result of the team’s organizations that originally helped create Spirit Week, “and because we couldn’t figure out an acronym that could use all of the letters LDP CUB SGA DSP,” Jamieson said.

Although the team, which was assigned Beauty and the Beast as part of this year’s Disney movie theme, lacked the Homecoming experience, expertise and funding of many fraternities and sororities, team members expressed satisfaction with their ninth place finish. Many of “The Originals” laughed at their inexperience in some of the events, like powder-puff football and Lip Sync and Dance, but were proud of the effort and spirit that poured out of the team.

“Our Lip Sync and Dance teams may not have brought home first or second place but all of us who participated had a blast on stage and that was really what it was all about for us. I’d have to say that whoever was Gaston for our team was probably the most talented performer of the night,” Kent said.

Lip Sync did prove to be a favorite event of “The Originals,” along with the football game and Sneak Preview.

“My favorite part of the week was absolutely the powder-puff football game, not only because I got to see almost two weeks of practice come to fruition, but because it was really just a great atmosphere,” CUB event coordinator Joe Stathius said.

Although SGA executive president Christine Cullen said she had an amazing time during Spirit Week as part of “The Originals,” her favorite part was actually the end of the competition.

“My favorite part of Homecoming was and has been every year since my freshman year the time that passes after the dance competition is over and before the judges announce the results of the competition. Music is blasted in the gym and everyone involved in Spirit Week is dancing together and having a great time. It’s just amazing to see how excited everyone is about supporting their teams and celebrating the end of an incredibly successful event with one another,” Cullen said.

While the team did acknowledge the difficulty in working with four different organizations, none of which knew each other very well, members also mentioned the increased possibility of new friendships and working relationships between the four groups.

“We had a rather large group of people, most of whom had never met before this week. However, that was also an awesome aspect of our team because if we hadn’t participated in Homecoming we couldn’t have met so many other great people,” Kent said.

Almost all “The Originals” members, especially seniors, expressed regret over not participating in Spirit Week previously, and looked to younger group leaders to keep “The Originals” tradition going into the future.

Jamieson said, “The impression I got from the underclassmen on the team was that everyone had a great time, and can’t wait to come back next year to make another go at it with expertise behind them.”

So next year, look out for “The Originals,” who plan on coming back harder, better, faster and stronger.

“I know that next year, we will truly be a team to be reckoned with,” Stathius said.

Jamieson echoed this statement: “This year, we didn’t really know what to expect from a lot of the events. Next year, I assure you that won’t be the case.”