Back in October 2016, Dustin Grovemiller, Interim Director of Alumni Relations, and Christa Serluco, Associate Director in the Office of Student and Community Engagement, sat down and began to have conversations about what they could do to improve Capital’s homecoming process.
“We had a few meetings together where we talked about everything we wanted to see and do differently, and it centered around a few different things,” Serluco said. “We really wanted to focus on how we get students invested in the [homecoming] weekend [and] how we get the entire Capital community to know about homecoming as a week. Not just the weekend, [but] knowing that homecoming goes from Monday through Sunday.”
In attempt to reach the goal of establishing the week-long homecoming atmosphere, there have been a number of events added to the week’s schedule. Each day of the week offers a different opportunity for students, faculty, and alumni to get involved, all while promoting the idea of “painting it purple.”
“We wanted to have a whole community feel, really bringing excitement and celebration, showing why we are proud of Capital throughout the week,” Serluco said.
These changes were not brought upon solely by administration. The student body had a voice in all that was discussed, and it came through a group named the Homecoming Student Steering Committee.
“We gathered representatives from all major student organizations on campus: ones that have a lot of members, ones that have a lot of influence, ones that could probably talk to other student organizations and get them involved,” Serluco said. “They helped plan a lot of the new events, telling what they thought students would or wouldn’t like to see.”
A few of the highlighted events are a blood drive competition, which takes place on Tuesday of homecoming week, pitting Capital students against Otterbein’s to see who can donate the highest amount of blood; a dueling pianos night, which was inspired by Capital’s annual lip sync competition and will be held on Wednesday night; paint it purple, an event in which students will be able to make signs and banners for Saturday, will be held Thursday night and will conclude in a purple powder explosion; and finally a purple power parade, held during the morning Saturday, which will celebrate not only the football team and homecoming court as they walk through, but other student organizations as well.
These events weren’t the only changes to be made to homecoming this year, as changes to the process for selecting homecoming court were implemented as well.
It began with nominations, which closed Sept. 1, allowing any student to be nominated. All nominees are then sent an application, asking each individual what they have been involved in and what being a member of the #capfam means to them.
These applications are then reviewed by a committee consisting of faculty, staff, alumni, and student representatives, who will then select students to be interviewed. From these interviews the committee will select the homecoming court, five women and five men, and this list of individuals is then given back to the student body to vote for their homecoming royalty.
“This process is really intentional to speaking and finding the people that truly represent Capital,” Serluco said. “This is to find the people who may not be as known on campus, or may not have an entire student organization of people to vote for them. We are keeping it less to a popularity contest and more to celebrating the people that will be leaving a legacy at Capital … The hope is that people will look at the homecoming court and say ‘Yes, they represent Capital, they represent me, they show a diversity of experiences, of involvement that’s spread all over the university.’”
Because of the number of changes occurring for this year’s homecoming, there will be an info table, or homecoming “home-base,” that will be out all week on the Mound Street Plaza giving out information, schedules, and allowing students to vote then and there.
Students can access the full homecoming schedule here: https://www.capconnect.org/homecoming