Homecoming is like Christmas in a way. I even have some friends that would argue that Loras Homecomings are even superior. Leading up to the week of celebration, Hobby Lobby sells out of purple and gold ribbon and shoes, the bookstore profits inevitably skyrocket and students, faculty and alumni go to bed with dreams of free food, tailgating, football and catching up with good friends, all dancing around in their heads.
The combination of crisp fall weather with fatty foods and good company inevitably provides an amazing weekend for all. The magical concoction results in a huge influx of school spirit, and the feeling is contagious. No matter where one turns, someone is talking about Homecoming, attending a Homecoming event, or wearing something Homecoming-related (in the case of Ellen J. Horst, this may be a set of custom purple and gold overalls).
No matter how festive you get, you have to admit that the excitement is contagious. I’m not a huge football fan, but the Homecoming game is a whole other species. The student section is packed, everyone is on their feet, leading cheers right alongside the cheerleaders, and pumping each other up. If only every game, even every sporting event on campus, could have this good of attendance and energy. How amazing would that be?!
It can be tempting to feel let down at the conclusion of the week. The decorations get put away just like the Christmas ornaments do, the alumni head back home, and the free food disappears. The actual Homecoming Week is over, but so goes with it the spirit of the week as well. However, this doesn’t really have to be the case. We can do our part to keep the energy up, the spirit alive and the school aglow in purple and gold, all throughout the year.
We can support our fellow Duhawks by attending sporting events, academic presentations and other school activities all throughout the year. We can wear our school colors with un-ironic pride. The supply of free food might be a little tougher, but we can do our best. The point is, there are little things we can do every day to make coming onto campus a “Homecoming.” To make Loras more welcoming and inviting to all who step on the grounds is the point of it all. To show pride in our athletics, academics and other associations. To honor those that have come before us and left a positive impact on the Loras community. To dedicate our own selves to leaving Loras a better place than when we arrived.
Now, I have to admit that I personally have a ways to go in upping my school spirit. I have attended a limited amount of sporting events, and cannot claim to know the Loras fight song (which is almost blasphemy in the eyes of some of my classmates). So in addition to learning the words and doing my best to pretend that I am interested in frequenting sporting events that I do not completely understand. However, it’s about more than just enjoying to watch them, it is about being there to support our fellow Duhawks, even if we barely know how many points a touchdown is, what “offsides” means in soccer, or even the basic rules of lacrosse. Moral support means a lot to athletes, and can help contribute to a win. Besides sporting events, I want to make a point of attending more student speakers, presentations, and other events as well to show my support across the board, as much as I can.
Homecoming Week may be limited to that one special week in October, and Christmas to the end of December, however, we can carry out the spirit of these extra special holidays all throughout the year if we all work together. Duhawks unite (there is currently no sarcasm in my voice, I promise)!