UIndy Homecoming returns, adjustments made due to COVID

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After two years spent in a pandemic, the University of Indianapolis has prepared for homecoming once again. According to Assistant Director of Student Activities Steven Freck, the overall events looked similar to what they did before COVID-19. 

“Overall, I’m super excited for homecoming,” Freck said. “It’s one of the busiest times on campus, there’s a ton of stuff going on and it’s just a great opportunity for everybody to show their love for UIndy in general, I would say.”

Photo by Logan Wong Student Body Director of SLAB and junior communication and psychology major Bhumibol oversaw the prize wheel at the Homecoming Midway on Oct. 8.

According to Freck, they tried to adapt the events as needed and make sure that safety protocols were followed. If people were vaccinated, then they did not have to wear their masks outside for the events, Freck said. According to Freck, they tried to make homecoming as normal as possible and a fun atmosphere for the students.

Associate Director of Alumni Engagement Coran Sigman said that Friday, Oct. 8 was the 50-year class reunion. Because there was no homecoming last year, the class of 1970 was invited back for their 50th year along with the class of 1971 as well, Sigman said. She said there were various events all weekend for those classes, one of these events being the 50-year club breakfast from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in UIndy Hall, according to the schedule on the homecoming website.

“We [Student Leadership Team] call it the ‘50-year club,’ it’s where anyone who graduated over 50 years [ago] or more helps welcome the 50-year classes into that club,” Sigman said. “We have an alum who graduated in 1955 coming back to help welcome the classes. It’s a really special moment to say, ‘Yeah I graduated from what would have been Indiana Central College 50 years ago and I’m back on campus celebrating homecoming today.’”

According to Sigman, there was a President’s Lunch and Campaign Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 9. Sigman said it was the first time that the campaign’s final dollar amount raised was publicly announced. 

“We’re really excited to have a moment to thank everyone who helped support UIndy and our students,” Sigman said. “And then have a grand unveiling of the final total of the amount that we raised. It’ll be a really fun event, again just a way to celebrate the success of our campaign.”

According to Freck, one of the big events was on Friday, Oct. 8, being the UIndy Midway, which replaced the Gala this year. The Gala is still taking place, but will be at the beginning of December, Sigman said. Freck said that the reason the Gala did not happen during homecoming week is because the university did not know where it would be at in terms of COVID-19 management. 

“I know that he [Steven Freck] and our student leadership team is planning the Homecoming Midway on Friday night,” Sigman said. “I think the dance is going to happen at a different time of year, they’re not going to have the annual dance at homecoming, but there’s supposed to be a big carnival, midway type thing Friday evening. I think that’ll be new and exciting for students. I think they’ll really enjoy that.”

According to Sigman, the Student Leadership Team will always adhere to any policies set in place by the Protect our Pack plan for the university. Sigman said that all of the planning for events this year did have to reflect the university’s current policies on COVID-19.

Photo by Logan Wong On Oct. 9, UIndy celebrated homecoming with a parade around campus. UIndy student volunteers pulled an inflatable football float to celebrate the game being held that day.

“We’re here to protect our pack, our campus community’s health and safety is of the utmost importance to us,” Sigman said. “We want to have as normal a homecoming experience as possible, but not at the expense of the health and safety of our community. It’s been two years since we’ve had something like this and I think we’re all due for the excitement and feeling that palpable energy of Greyhound love and spirit in the air, I think that’ll be exciting to see.”

According to Sigman, the football game and the parade are always a big hit. Sigman said that is the end of her homecoming experience and the beginning for so many others.

“I always leave homecoming feeling exhausted, naturally because it’s a lot of planning, but so inspired by our alum and our students connecting,” Sigman said. “Again just the overwhelming good spirit and fun that you leave from that weekend and I can’t wait to experience that for the first time in two years. I’m pretty excited for it.”

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