By Kyle Elphick
The College’s 29th annual Homecoming Spirit Week was an action-packed celebration of the College, its students and alumni. The beloved tradition kicked off on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and culminated on Saturday, Oct. 29 with the Homecoming tailgate.
Spirit Week encourages students to sport their blue-and-gold pride through several exciting events. Student-run organizations teamed up to compete to win the title of Spirit Week Champion. This year, Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Alpha Delta and Delta Epsilon Psi hoisted a trophy in triumph during the annual Homecoming football game.
“This week of events has been established to bring the community together while demonstrating our campus’ student pride and involvement,” according to the event’s Lion’s Gate page.
Homecoming, the College’s biggest celebration of the year, invites students and alumni to revere in their alma mater with a day of athletics, food and more.
The festivities began on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Alumni Grove with T-shirt tye dying. That afternoon, students got their game on in a volleyball competition on Loser Lawn.
On Wednesday, Loser Lawn was bursting with competitive spirit in a day of field games. Students went head-to-head in events like a dizzy bat race, tug of war and a three-legged race.
Rally towels were distributed in the Brower Student Center on Thursday morning to passionate fans. That night, brainiacs had their time to shine in a trivia competition in the Education Building. Sigma Sigma Sigma and Beta Theta Pi took first place.
A party atmosphere hit campus on Friday as Homecoming drew near. Special events included a “Blue and Gold” and cupcake giveaway on Green Lawn.
That evening, dozens of students fought lip sync and dance battles to hit songs in the Student Recreation Center. Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Alpha Delta and Delta Epsilon Psi were the lip sync champions, while Sigma Kappa, Alpha Chi Rho and Men’s Club Rugby were the winning dance teams.
“Night Bites,” or delicious snacks, were served for students to savor in the T/W Lounge from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
A palpable electricity filled the air as Homecoming kicked off on Saturday morning. In addition to the school’s thousands of current students, alumni arrived on campus to celebrate the special day.
The MainStage on Loser Lawn was a hub of Homecoming hype. Student and alumni groups performed on a stage reminiscent of an outdoor music festival. Attendees filled blue and gold tables and chairs to get a look at their favorite performers
Among the groups was TCNJ Musical Theatre (TMT). Members performed songs from TMT’s upcoming production of “The Addams Family.”
“We were able to get the word out about our show and promote it in a good way,” said Gretchen Newell, a TMT member and sophomore communication studies major.
The Mixed Signals, the College’s improv comedy troupe, took the stage next. The group had the crowd cackling with a hilarious set of improv games.
“The whole experience was new to me,” said Beau Aranosian, a senior interactive multimedia major. “I’d do it again if we had the opportunity.”
In addition to the MainStage, giant colorful inflatable activities peppered the lawn and contributed to the carnival-like atmosphere. RECreate Your Night, an on-campus group that organizes safe and fun activities, ran games for students and alumni to enjoy. The free hot chocolate and apple cider were beloved by all.
The football game kicked off at 2 p.m. in Lions Stadium, where the Lions battled the William Paterson Pioneers. With support from the crowd, the Lions won, 42-28.
As night fell, the African Latino Alumni Network of TCNJ hosted a 10th anniversary party in the Education Building that featured music by DJ Nix. The group described the event as “a throwback to the day parties that were held in (Brower Student Center) 202 East and West.”
Student Government and Student Finance Board sent Homecoming out with a bang by hosting a carnival in the Student Recreation Center. Students played games, danced and enjoyed more larger-than-life inflatables while munching on free pizza and snacks.
Though Homecoming was over, the fun of Spirit Week continued. Club Sports sponsored a TCNJ Halloween Fun Run, where students, alumni and families were encouraged to run through campus in costume.
Student Government, the Greek Council and Club Sports ran a Trunk-or-Treat event. Student organizations filled car trunks with food and other items to hand out to trunk-or-treaters, which included students, alumni and members of the Ewing, N.J, community.
For students both students and alumni, Spirit Week was a welcomed change of pace to remind everyone the importance of embracing school spirit.