Old friends, good food, fun times, nice weather and a win for the Lions: What else could the College’s students and alumni ask for?
Homecoming was surrounded by a controversy this year due to some of the new regulations implemented by the College — cars were not allowed in the tailgating area, tailgaters needed to wear wristbands to identify who was over and under 21, and attendees were not permitted to have their own music. But whatever qualms people may have had about the changes were replaced with excitement for the day’s celebrations as students, alumni, family and friends showcased school pride on Saturday, Oct. 19.
“It was nice to see everyone so bonded. Everyone had TCNJ swag — they had their shirts and pins and hair ties — and they had a lot of fun together,” senior biology and women’s and gender studies double major Stephanie Cervino said. “Even other organizations were mixing because they were so close together. It was a nice way to build community.”
However, there were people who thought that the changes did damper the Homecoming spirit a bit but had fun regardless.
“I think that there’s less unity, because not everybody who goes to school is at the tailgate. Most people are doing their own thing in their dorms, and I think that kind of takes away from the whole feel of homecoming,” sophomore communication studies major Theresa Soya said while going to watch the football game. “But it’s better than I thought it was going to be. There’s a lot of people still out and the music’s good … I love Homecoming.”
Tiffany Moscatello, a ’00 graduate of the College, agreed that last year’s Homecoming was better than this year’s, but said that the energy was still there. She was there with her husband, also a College graduate, and her three young children.
“It’s great coming back every year. I love bringing my kids back,” Moscatello said.
Moscatello pointed out that the first time the College had tailgating for Homecoming was her senior year. Before that, she said the big hang-out place to celebrate the day was the Rat.
Trenton State College alumnus Frank Haas also mentioned that tailgating was a new aspect of Homecoming since his graduation in ’77. He was at this year’s Homecoming to meet up with his old friends from Sigma Tau Chi. More than 70 of the fraternity’s members attended this year’s Homecoming.
According to Haas, besides getting to re-connect with his friends from school, the best thing about coming back to the College was seeing all of its recent updates.
“My favorite part is to see how much it’s grown. It’s huge. Same space, but it’s unbelievably huge. There’s so many new buildings here,” Haas said.
There was a performance by the College’s cheerleading and dance teams before the winners of the two-week Homecoming Queen and King contests, seniors Ryan DeAngelis and Stephanie Rindosh, were crowned.
“It’s a huge honor. You know, everyone out there deserved it, and they’re a great bunch of guys and girls. It was really cool, especially representing the Ambassadors. I really appreciated it,” said DeAngelis, a chemistry major who represented the Ambassadors.
Rindosh, a civil engineering major who represented Delta Phi Epsilon, was also elated and said that being honored with the title “means that you just truly embody the TCNJ spirit and that you make the most of this place while you have it here.”
After the ceremony, the Lions took the field once again to defeat SUNY Morrisville 21-20.
“It was my first and last Homecoming as an undergraduate, and I’m really glad I went because it’s a big experience that undergrads have,” Cervino said. “I saw a lot of alums and it was good to see them again, and I know next year it’s going to be me doing that.”