Homecoming returns to Loyola


A homecoming banner hangs in the Danna Center, reminding students about homecoming week. Homecoming week takes place Feb. 11 through Feb. 15. Photo credit: Hannah Renton

Riley Katz

After decades of forgoing homecoming formalities, the Loyola’s Student Government Association along with other student organizations is bringing the celebration back to campus.

Homecoming week starts Feb. 11 and runs through Feb. 15, bringing a week-long celebration complete with events to campus.

Kristen Williams, SGA senator-at-large, head of the student involvement committee and cheerleader, said bringing homecoming back is the perfect way to get students involved on campus.

“As a student-athlete as well, it is important to get the students at the games and more active on campus,” Williams said. “It is something that has been missing for a while.”

Williams said she hopes to build school spirit and keep attendance up after homecoming ends.

“Usually, only student-athletes attend the games and we are hoping to reach more students to have them feel more connected to the university,” Williams said.

Williams said she hopes that the event will become an annual celebration that grows in size every year.

The original idea for bringing homecoming back came about in October, but most planning has taken place in the last five weeks, according to Williams.

“Since this is the first one in a while, we don’t really have anything to go off of,” Williams said.

She added that SGA has been working with the student athlete advisory committee and Joann Cassama, SGA vice president, to turn the idea into a reality.

Williams said the funds for the event have been taken from the budgets of the involved organizations.

Leah Banks, president of the student athlete advisory committee, said working with SGA, the alumni association and the athletic department has been vital.

“Since it is Loyola’s inaugural homecoming, we will be wanting all hands on deck to be sure it runs as smoothly as possible on the financial end,” Banks said.

Banks said the athletes are brainstorming further fundraising opportunities in order to pay for the events during homecoming week.

The days leading up to and the day following the homecoming games are filled with events that Williams said are made to connect student athletes with the rest of the student body.

Kicking off the festivities on Feb. 11 is “dunk for donuts,” an event where students can dunk a basketball in exchange for a donut. Then students can meet and play games with student-athletes on Tuesday. Ice cream will be given out for “Gallontine’s Day” on Wednesday followed by Bears for Bae on Thursday before the homecoming game. The homecoming festivities wrap up on Friday with Third Friday.

With every homecoming comes a homecoming court. Nominations for the court took place over the course of three days last week, bringing in a total of 366 nomination responses, according to Williams. Those nominations were narrowed down to the five men and five women who received the most votes. At the homecoming game on Feb. 14, the final voting process will take place. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., attendees can vote for who they want to be elected to the homecoming court, and at halftime of the men’s basketball game, the winners will be announced.

The finalists for homecoming queen are Victoria Hedin, environmental science junior, Sofía Alexandra Rabássa, psychology sophomore, Charde’ Anise Jacquot, accounting senior, Mylinh Bui, biology senior, and Isabella Martinez, a biology senior.

The finalists for homecoming king are Darell Honora Jr., sociology freshman, Philip Nijoka, business analytics senior, Blaise Wise, biological science junior and Max Dovale, music composition sophomore.

Williams said the hardest part of planning has been getting the word out about homecoming.

“Students don’t always show up to events on Loyola’s campus,” Williams said. “Just letting them know that we do have a homecoming. I keep hearing students say ‘Oh we have homecoming?’ I say ‘Yes, it’s our first one (in a long time).’ Hearing that is exciting to me.”

Information courtesy of Kristen Williams and the student government association. Illustration by Ariel Landry.