Twenty-eight College organizations, 13 teams and one week to prove that your team has the most school spirit.
To rally school pride in time for this year’s Homecoming, the Homecoming Spirit Week Committee and the Office of the Dean of Students held the 26th annual Spirit Week, with the theme of “Musicals,” from Monday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 18.
After competing in the week’s 11 events, the “Phantom of the Opera” team of Sigma Kappa and Phi Alpha Delta came out victorious, proving they possessed the ultimate school spirit. The team captured first place in six events: the backdrop, lip sync and banner reveal contests, as well as the three-legged, human pyramid and potato sack races.
The winning organizations’ names will be added to the President’s Spirit Trophy. The winners will also receive a dinner hosted by President R. Barbara Gitenstein, as well as $300, according to the Homecoming Spirit Week Committee’s website.
Also receiving cash prizes are the second-place team of Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Pi (“Willy Wonka”) and the third-place team of Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Tau and Delta Lambda Phi (“Footloose”).
According to the Committee’s website, the week was created “to bring the community together while demonstrating our campus’s student pride and involvement.”
A volleyball tournament, cheerleading competition, tug-of-war game and other field games led to the week’s biggest events: the lip sync and dance competitions.
On Friday, Oct. 18, each team performed a skit, which included elaborate backdrops, costumes and props of the team’s theme. Each skit was required to involve the College, the Homecoming football game and the team’s
musical theme. Sound bites anywhere from Cher’s “Believe,” to the “Drake and Josh” catchphrase of “Hug me brother,” to the viral video of “Charlie bit my finger” were used.
In Sigma Kappa and Phi Alpha Delta’s winning skit, the SUNY Morrisville “Phantom” took the College’s cheerleader hostage. In order to win the game, the football player had to rescue her.
In between performances, the crowd danced, celebrated and cheered their team’s name and chant.
Spirit Week is crucial to the campus because it is the one week when the College feels like a community, according to junior psychology major and Sigma Sigma Sigma education director Kaitlin Shepard, who was on the “West Side Story” team.
“It is important for TCNJ to have a Spirit Week because it brings the school together. It allows the opportunity for all different student organizations to come together, form teams and have a fun week,” Shepard said.
For those who did not compete in the week’s competition, there were free giveaways throughout the week, including cupcakes and rally towels, as well as the chance to tie-dye a Spirit Week T-shirt.
According to Shepard, the week is a great way for students to build up school unity in time for Homecoming.
“The overall atmosphere of Spirit Week is upbeat and lively. Every day of the week there is something exciting going on to look forward to,” Shepard said. “The competitive nature of the events makes things fun, but in the end, everyone remembers that they are all one school and comes together to celebrate on Saturday.”
The week was co-chaired by senior English and Chinese double major and Student Government President Tyler Liberty and senior elementary education and math double major Stefanie Grossman. According to Grossman, this year’s Spirit Week was a success, and a goal for next year is to have even more people join in on the fun.
“People should want to participate in Spirit Week next year because it is a week full of fun and a way to make great memories. Everyone on campus has a different talent to offer, and Spirit Week provides an outlet for those talents to shine,” Grossman said. “It’s a busy week, but in the end, it’s something to do to show your school spirit and have a great time with friends, as well as make some new ones.”