Homecoming is a long honored tradition here at UConn, and in a year where many of our cherished campus customs have to be put on hold, organizations like the Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG) are working tirelessly to create new events to continue to foster our good old-fashioned husky spirit.
While this year’s festivities will not feature a parade, carnival or pre-game tailgate, SUBOG has built an entirely new roster of events from the ground up to continue tradition in a new, socially distant manner.
Tianna Felder, fifth-semester consumer behavior student and SUBOG’s Major Weekends Chairwoman, spoke with The Daily Campus to address what Homecoming will look like this year. Her responsibilities include overseeing Homecoming, Winter Weekend and Senior Weekend.
“Unfortunately, well not unfortunately, everything this homecoming week started from scratch,” Felder said. “New activities that nobody has ever experienced in a traditional homecoming sense, but that’s what makes this whole Homecoming week interesting.”
SUBOG began planning the week of Homecoming as early as May of the spring semester, so much of the planning process took place with very little information being given about the nature of the fall semester, if there was going to be one at all.
“I really did try to keep some of the traditional events that we had, however, as time went on, I realized that I couldn’t keep them, just for the safety of students,” Felder said.
With a long tradition of creating iconic and innovative themes, such as “Streaming Storrs” and “Big City Storrs,” the big question was what theme would headline UConn Stay-at-Homecoming 2020.
“This year’s theme is the Roaring 2000s,” Felder said. “Considering the difficult and challenging year everybody’s had, we should take the time to go back and reminisce on the past 20 years we’ve had. The Roaring 2000s is basically paying homage to 2000 through 2019.”
This week, SUBOG will sponsor a variety of activities to keep UConn students both on and off campus excited and engaged, while still six feet apart.
To kick off next week’s festivities, SUBOG’s Major Weekends and Special Events Committees have collaborated to put on a scavenger hunt for all in-person, hybrid and virtual UConn students that will last everyday, Monday through Wednesday, from 12 to 4 p.m.
“This is the main opportunity where students will be able to grab all the free merch that they traditionally would have gotten through tabling or other events, however, this is the only event where you’ll be able to grab it,” Felder explained. “This is the event you want to participate in if you want some free homecoming swag!”
On Tuesday, the winners will be announced for Homecoming’s first ever TikTok challenge, where students can submit TikToks showcasing transformations they’ve made throughout the past 20 years to win some prizes. The deadline for submissions is Monday, Oct. 5.
On Wednesday night at 8 p.m., an outdoor screening of the childhood classic “Grown Ups” will be hosted at the Sherman Family Sports Complex. Advanced registration will be required at http://s.uconn.edu/signup.
On Thursday night at 7 p.m., season 8 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Bob the Drag Queen, will be featured in a live Q&A moderated by Netflix’s Matteo Lane on Webex with chances to win gift cards to Sephora and Amazon, amongst other prizes.
On Friday, students have the opportunity to relive their childhood through their stomachs, with “Snacks from the Past” from 12 to 2 p.m. on the Student Union Terrace. This will be a “grab and go” event and free to all students with a UConn ID and a face mask.
“I’m really excited for the ‘Snacks from the Past’ event,” Felder said. “It’s something so small, it really is the little things sometimes, so I think for students, just being able to end the week with something that they used to eat from their childhood is really cool.”
For more information about SUBOG’s Stay-at-Homecoming follow live updates on SUBOG’s Instagram account, @subogatuconn.