BY Sarah Goetze Staff Writer
Many times students criticize McKendree University falling short on feeling like a college campus, however, during this past weekend, McKendree did anything but disappoint. Homecoming weekend had campus exploding with energy as it was filled with students, alumni, family and friends.
Although many activities and competitions, such as Bearcat Games and Chalk the Walk, started Monday for registered student organizations, Friday night started the fun for the remainder of campus. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) held a headphone dance on campus. During this time, students danced together while individually listening to music through a pair of headphones.
“It may have looked weird to people who walked in, but it was a lot fun,” Grace McDowell said. CAB member Chloe Thies, who coordinated homecoming, agreed with McDowell that the dance was one of the most entertaining events of the weekend. “My favorite memory would have to be dancing the night away and letting loose,” Thies added.
To crown the dance, the homecoming queen and king were announced. Cassie Kaiping from Kappa Sigma Tau was crowned queen.
“Being crowned queen was such a unique experience,” she said. “I was surrounded by friends and family, which made it all the best. The icing on the cake was that my sorority mom was the one who was able to crown me.”
McKendree students voted Dewayne Gatti to stand next to her as king.
Inaugurating a new tradition, McKendree crowned its first prince and princess. Thanks to her brilliant campaigning and charismatic personality, Lauren Reeves from Alpha won title of princess. Charles “Chuckie” Phillips was crowned as McKendree’s first prince.
The homecoming parade kicked off more events on Saturday morning. Spectators lined the streets to cheer on student groups and community members, watching almost 40 different organizations make the lap around campus.
After watching the parade, the crowd headed back to the parking lot to tailgate before the homecoming football game. Tailgating has since changed the atmosphere of football games here at McKendree. Between the mechanical bull provided by the alumni and free food from Student Government, the parking lot was filled with energy before the game.
As the clock ticked closer to 1 p.m. and everyone anticipated kickoff, the crowd filed into Lemon Field, carrying the energy from the parking lot into the stadium. Seating was limited and the stadium was booming with energy because of the dedicated fans. The football team improved their record to 4-0 thanks to their 38-13 victory over Southwest Baptist University.
Overall, this week was filled with brisk, fall weather and a persistent mist, but people still jumped at the chance to celebrate McKendree’s 187 years.
“When you see everyone outside in one place having fun, you want to join,” said Thies. “I do feel like general student participation was high for homecoming, regardless of the cold and rainy weather.”
Thies says, “Students need to realize we have the potential to make McKendree feel like this every game day.”
Homecoming Queen, Kaiping, shared similar ideas. “It was nice to see the past and present come together that weekend to celebrate McKendree Homecoming,” she said.
Even though homecoming was extremely early in the school year compared to previous years, CAB considers this particular homecoming one of McKendree’s most successful celebrations yet.