Today is the Homecoming game! Everyone on campus seems to be bustling around, and I see a bunch of alumni walking dogs around the bell tower pond. The schedule today is packed — mostly with tailgating. I saw people with grills aflame when I walked to rehearsal at 8:15 this morning.
I will admit to the truth: I’m struck with Homecoming apathy. The long conversation about independents (those who don’t live in Greek houses) participating in Homecoming festivities has some weight, and this opinion piece in the Butler Collegian, especially the controversial editorial cartoon, ruffled a lot of feathers. While I don’t think independents are necessarily excluded from Homecoming, I know the participation level is much lower on that front. Some thoughts on this:
- Activities like Lawn Decs (decorating the lawns of Greek Houses) are of course centered on the opposite side of campus as independent upperclassmen who live in AV, UT, or in off-campus housing.
- Generally, Greek houses mandate participation in certain events. This depends on each individual organization, but it yields a much higher percentage of people participating– which makes it more fun for those involved.
- Each Greek team (a fraternity and sorority) is paired with a non-Greek Housing unit, which does allow for non-Greek participation to be integrated with the general Greek enthusiasm for events like Homecoming. This is obviously a generalization, but I think there’s still some truth in it.
- If you live in Greek Housing, those who participate in Homecoming activities live down the hall. If you live in independent housing, because there is such a low percentage of participation from these residence units, it’s more likely participants will be scattered throughout the dorm/apartments. It’s easier to muster enthusiasm when your next-door neighbors have the same spirit.
Overall, Homecoming excitement is concentrated in Greek housing, diluted in independent housing. I think this is the main reason people say independents are excluded from Homecoming. However, as an independent living in AV, I am right next to the Butler Bowl and all the Saturday activities. I had ample opportunity to participate in different activities; all the communication was very clear. What was missing?
Aside from a truly, spectualarly busy/miserable week (wonder why you didn’t hear too much from me?), no one close to me ever mentioned Homecoming or — that I know — considered participating. It’s an interesting dynamic. The best I can say is that, as an independent myself, I did not participate because I didn’t particularly feel compelled to do so.
But since my ballet rehearsals are done for the day, I think I can catch the game and maybe some of the parade!