Marquette community shares thoughts on homecoming

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Photo by Alex DeBuhr

Social House performed at the Alumni Memorial Union as part of the homecoming celebrations.

Marquette University’s campus was decked out in blue and gold as students prepared to “ring out ahoya” during Marquette’s Homecoming week Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. 

The celebrations for the school’s annual tradition included Glow Bingo, two women’s volleyball games, a men’s soccer game, a community engagement excursion and the Homecoming concert featuring Social House.

The #18 volleyball team swept both matches against the University of Connecticut  Sept. 30 and against Providence College Oct. 1. The games gave some students a chance to reconnect with friends as they cheered on the team. 

“It was cool to see people I don’t normally have the chance to see during the school week,” Lizzy Ibitoye, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. Ibitoye attended the game Friday night. 

Adam Fredrick, graduate assistant for campus activities, said this is exactly the goal of Homecoming week. 

“It can help build a sense of community … and celebrate what it means to be an eagle,” Fredrick said. 

Fredrick was specifically excited for Glow Bingo, which took place Sept. 29. He mentioned how it’s Late Night Marquette’s biggest event of the year. He was looking forward to giving out the Bingo prizes which included Carrie Underwood tickets, Marquette Cash, Buck’s tickets and more.

Bruce Deal, a senior in the College of Business Administration, said that he felt particularly invested in homecoming this year. He was very excited to see his friends 

Although the entire week is coined as “Homecoming,” celebrations only took place in the later half of the week, starting with glow bingo Thursday night. Fredrick believed that this is due to the division of student affairs being short-staffed this year. 

“Hopefully next year things can go back to a week-long celebration. That’s the ultimate goal,” Fredrick said.

Ibitoye said the current campus environment impacted the way she celebrated homecoming.

“I think this year was a bit of a letdown in comparison to other schools. A big part of it for me is all the tension surrounding racial issues on campus,” Ibitoye said.

A walk was held Sept. 28 to show solidarity with the students who are being charged with student conduct violations after the demonstration that took place during the first-year convocation this year. Ibitoye specifically reflected on how the statement “We are Marquette” might not have as much of an impact on students this year because of these current tensions. 

Ibitoye also said she felt like the Homecoming concert Saturday night was set up to be a disappointment. 

“My first year Alessia Cara was the Homecoming concert artist and that was great. It was at Fiserv Forum. This year I didn’t go to the concert because I only know two songs by Social House,” Ibitoye said.

Some students also expressed a similar sentiment towards the headlining band.

“The fact that it was at the Alumni Memorial Union was a huge departure from what I experienced my first year at Fiserv,” Ibitoye said. 

Nareh Vartanian, a first-year in the College of Communication, agreed with Ibitoye’s sentiments towards the headliner. 

“I actually don’t know what Social House is,” Vartanian said, “I feel like if it was someone who people know then more people would be talking about it.” 

Vartanian talked about how Homecoming at Marquette differed from what she experienced in high school. Vartanian said she missed having more organized community events, specifically the week-long spirit days where students dress up according to a certain theme. She also believes that the Homecoming events at Marquette were lacking in publicity. 

“It would be nicer if I heard more about it. I feel like there hasn’t been an announcement made, or at least one that I would’ve seen,” Vartanian said. 

An email describing the Homecoming events for the week was sent out Sept. 26. Vartanian also said she believed that the lack of a big school sports culture in the fall semester took away from the traditional Homecoming experience. 

“There would be a lot more excitement about that [sport] and it would unite people. There’s a big sports culture at all the major colleges, including this one, just not right now,” Vartanian said. 

Fredrick said that he sees National Marquette day, Feb. 26, 2023, as the day to celebrate school spirit and the school’s sport culture. He hopes it will make up for the lack of Homecoming fun.

This story was written by Kiley Brockway. She can be reached at [email protected]marquette.edu