Opinion | Homecoming is happening everywhere but the Capstone

Xzarria Peterson, Contributing Columnist

Each fall, universities across the United States dedicate a week to homecoming. It’s the perfect opportunity for alumni, faculty, staff, and students to attend events celebrating their university. 

It’s the ideal time to cheer on the football team, boost morale and make new friends. School spirit is somewhat of a debatable topic around campus. Of course, there’s the obvious display of spirit during football games but when it comes to homecoming week, the spirit seems dead.

Every school’s homecoming is different, and The University of Alabama is of a different caliber too. This year’s theme was “Legends Live Forever” and celebrated the ongoing and present legacy of our alumni, current students, faculty, staff, and those that have supported the University’s journey. 

Throughout October, there were social media posts as other universities detailed jam-packed homecoming lineups: special performances, events, bonfires, tailgates, and more fanfare that make for an all-inclusive week of fun for everyone to enjoy. 

Here at the University, our events included: a dodgeball competition, the Roll Tide Run, a bowling competition with free student bowling afterward, a lawn games tournament, a flag football competition, a choreography competition, the pep rally and bonfire, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council step show. 

Aside from the annual homecoming parade and homecoming queen crowning events, this list doesn’t seem to grab students’ attention.

The University and the UA Homecoming division have done a lackluster job of informing the student body about these events. It seems like the homecoming student board hasn’t listened to suggestions about what students want to see.

Spelman College and Morehouse College — two of Atlanta’s leading historically Black colleges — had their homecoming lineups from Oct. 16-23 and had enticing events, like vendors on campus, day parties and concerts that all students on both campuses could enjoy.

Homecoming at the Capstone seems to be centered around groups and student organizations, with a heavy emphasis on sports competitions. In 2021, the University had a similar lineup with the addition of a concert/performance from an unrecognizable artist in the mainstream category. 

This year, as we watch universities like Louisiana State University have spirit days, paint-splatter parties, and bring out popular artists like Rico Nasty, UA students are left with mediocre sports events that aren’t entirely inclusive to all students. To participate, students need to register and pay for each event. Several event participants are part of Panhellenic Greek organizations or other prominent student organizations, which heavily excludes students who are not in Greek life.

Being at a school this large, with an endowment of over one billion dollars, students should be able to enjoy a free lineup of events that actively encourage more student engagement. Students who want to participate in events, don’t always have the money necessary to do so. According to the 2021 homecoming event registration website, groups paid upwards of $625 for t-shirts and the Roll Tide Run alone. Prices for this year were not updated on the website as of Oct. 21.

The UA Homecoming Board needs to take its time naming next year’s theme because this year’s “Legends Live Forever” theme and events did not live up to the legendary status they claim to have.