By Anonymous Senior
Upon reading the preposterous new “changes” to Homecoming 2013, I think I speak for all students when I say our college is starting to go off the deep end. Our “Alumni Affair representatives” should feel lucky enough that the College doesn’t hold “rave-like” tailgates for every football game every weekend, as the University of Delaware, Rutgers and thousands of other prestigious institutions do nationwide. Homecoming is one of very few (and by very few, I mean the only) actual exciting events that the College holds each year. Alumni, seniors and underclassmen look forward to this one celebration that brings together the College’s students of all ages in good fun.
“Homecoming” is defined as “returning to a place that you once lived and called your own.” Our alumni once knew the College as this: a comforting, friendly residence. How would you feel if you came home and everything was different? By altering this event and “de-funning” the legendary ritual we call TCNJ Homecoming, it will be, and already has been, topic of up-roaring conversation.
First and foremost, having DJs and “rave-like” music is the calling card of our millennium, just as “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll” was for the ’60s and ’70s. It is not something that can be controlled, or that should be prohibited because Alumni Affair representatives are not “with the times.” This, however, is the music of our generation, whether it is approved by Alumni Affairs or not. One representative noted, “With the music, the actions and behaviors got a little out of control.” This exasperating idea is erroneous, as well as hypercritical and judgmental toward all students of our generation. I’m more than 100 percent positive that the music is not the cause of drinking — being normal college students is. This quote is parallel in blaming “the psychedelic drug era of the ’70s” on disco records played on nationwide turntables.
As we all have alumni friends returning every Homecoming, it is well known why these nostalgic alumni return. Sadly, yet not the least bit surprisingly, it has never been for the championship-winning College football team (no offense Lions), but for the celebrated ceremony that connects our school in the most spirited way possible. Undoubtedly, it’s a time when the College’s underclassmen can “let their hair down” and forget about next Monday’s business presentation and Wednesday’s calculus test. But the alumni, as well as the senior class of 2014, are being robbed of a tradition we so greatly deserve and have become accustomeded to all these years. As seniors, this is our last shot of being “irresponsible” undergrad students, without real-world worries like paying insurance, co-worker judgments or throwing up on your boss’s face come Monday’s morning meeting.
The last and most concerning of all Homecoming 2013’s new bogus rules and regulations is the parking lot that creates a network of safety for groups of friends and organizations. In the past, our cars in the neighboring, CONNECTING parking lots have always marked territories, creating a “home base” for friends and ways of transporting and organizing tailgating necessities. How are alumni as well as “legal” students supposed to bring grills and beers? Homecoming cheeseburgers and hotdogs are a tradition that has kept our students interactive and tightly knit as a community. It is custom to have the freedom (as well as the right) to hold down a spot in Lot 5 where friends can sit, eat and drink Red Bull courtesy of Sigma Pi.
Car-hopping and Homecoming dancing spreads unity and creates friendships that, as current or previous students, we will never forget. The inconvenience of traveling back and forth to fetch grill materials and drinks will cause more of an untimely danger to students, drunkenly crossing streets to restock. In the midst of trying to keep us “safer,” the staff should keep an open eye on the big picture — we will celebrate no matter what.
Homecoming is part of the “college experience” that we students are supposed to freely enjoy without the worry and pressure that already smothers us all other days of the week. We are destined to share stories of this glorious day with our children about the raw hotdogs we once ate out of our friend’s car or the fraternity boys who shook our port-a-potty. As a notoriously well-behaved school, all we ask is for a little fun in living out an inherited affair passed down by past alumni generations, one day out of the year.
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