Each year alumni return to campus in February to join students in cheering the Royals basketball teams on to victory during Homecoming week. This year, students are saying, has been the best Homecoming week the University has ever seen.What made this the best Homecoming yet you may ask? Junior Jonathan Arbogast, who was on the Homecoming court, believes that it is because there was a lot more to do, more events to attend and the fact that the Homecoming games now took place on campus.
Senior Will Kervick and junior Alexis Cohn both believe that it is as a result of students becoming more involved and how well Campus Union Board did on getting the word out for the events.
Sophomore Jasmyn Lindsay believes that having our own on campus facility helped and made it more accessible to students to attend the Homecoming game itself, but also that this year Queens fostered more school spirit than ever before.
“We made a lot of changes to Homecoming this year that we as a committee [C.U.B. Royal Spirit Committee] felt would benefit the student body as a whole,” said sophomore Zach Trammel, who helped plan Homecoming. “The biggest changes were moving kick-off to Tuesday morning and partnering with other clubs and organizations to make the week about all students, not just C.U.B.”
The week began on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 4, with the official Homecoming Kick-Off, where students were able to receive their official Homecoming t-shirts in Trexler. C.U.B. gave out roughly 350 t-shirts during kick-off alone.That evening, Explore Charlotte presented a fashion show where students took to the runway. Styles modeled included everything from 90s throwback styles to “grown and sexy” looks. Freshman Mason Farnan said in a review of the event that “…it was the best event since Welcome Week.” Lindsay agreed, saying it was the best event during Homecoming week not only because she got to strut her stuff down the runway but primarily because “the event had a lot more people attend than we expected, which made it that much more fun.” Audience members even took the runway to participate in various competitions like the “twerk-off” or “nay-nay” dance-off. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, C.U.B. hosted “America’s No. 1 campus game show,” Blizzard of Bucks. Contestants were chosen at random to compete against one another in a series of games. The winner of each round competed in the finals, with the winner getting a chance to step into the “Incredible Money Machine.” Every student whose name was drawn to participate on stage walked home a winner – everyone was given a consolation prize of a Blizzard of Bucks t-shirt and winner Alexis Cohn, junior, won $145. Early on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 6, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee threw its first ever athlete bachelor-bachelorette auction. Two members from each athletic team on campus were auctioned off to go on a date with the highest bidder. All the proceeds of this event were used to support the Make-A-Wish foundation. Each athlete was announced with goofy photos and bios that their teammates wrote on their behalf. Then they got to strut their stuff and “show the bidders the money,” making them want to bid. Also on Thursday night, Club Label provided free cover for all Queens students to attend their weekly college night. Party buses shuttled students Uptown from Burwell Circle.
Friday evening, Feb. 7, was the Royals Showcase, a pep rally show that featured various music artists and comedians. It also was a homecoming court talent show, featuring lap dances for audience members. Junior Nkosi Ali thought that this event was the epitome of Royal’s spirit and that it “brought everyone together as a Queens family.”Game day, Saturday, Feb. 8, began with a tailgate on the South lawn. The event featured booths set up by various groups or clubs on campus and students played tailgating games including cornhole, giant Jenga, soda ring-toss and basketball. “There was a great turnout at the tailgate,” said junior Jonathan Arbogast. “Lots of people, food and games. The basketball game was really fun. I also liked playing some soccer and just hanging out with everyone.”
“We had really mild weather for the tailgate, which was a plus,” said Trammel. “Last year it snowed, so people got their food and left. This year it felt nice outside, so people stayed and partied hardy.”
The evening consisted of back-to-back men’s and women’s basketball games where the Royals faced off against Brevard College. The women’s team fell to Brevard, losing 39-61. The men’s team however, beat Brevard 84-74.This game hosted the biggest crowd to ever be in Curry Arena in the Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation. Turnout was estimated by the athletic department to be around 1,400 people. Senior Homecoming king and queen Rami Kuseybi and Blair Kitrick were announced during the halftime show at the men’s game. Overall, Trammel was proud of the week’s events.
“I think our attendance overall for events was up this year. People were excited to see all of the changes we did and the effects they brought. Each event averaged 250-300 people,” he said. “I feel like the week as a whole was successful. There was no one point I could say was our most successful spot. Every event was great in its own regards.”