By Ellie Schuckman
In a celebration with alumni, current students, families and friends, Homecoming 2014 was a way for all to gather in festivity despite the controversies leading up to it.
Centered on the tailgating in parking lots 4 and 6 on Saturday, Oct. 25, police and other security officers were on guard to prevent the anticipated presence of underage drinking, with new measures in place, including two separate fenced in areas for those in attendance.
“(This year’s Homecoming) is very much structured but still has the same spirit,” said Joshua Kocses, class of ’02.
During halftime of the Lions football game, the highly anticipated Homecoming King and Queen were announced, with the crowns going to seniors Ryan Boyne and Courtney McGovern.
“It’s been a really cool experience,” McGovern said, an early childhood education and integrative STEM double major. “It was so much fun being with everyone in the court.”
Both Boyne and McGovern were pleasantly surprised they had won, with Boyne “not expecting” their victory.
Throughout the day, people could enjoy the Homecoming MainStage, located on the Green Hall lawn, with performances from the College’s Taiko Club, Circus Club, Musical Theater Club, the newly added Pep Band and much more, while snacking on free popcorn and cotton candy. Many felt the addition of MainStage, which also featured a rock climbing wall, face painting and circus games such as ring toss, made the day more kid-friendly for former students who now have children of their own.
“There’s a lot of changes,” said Michael Coppola, class of ’02, commenting on how the events were more suited for younger attendees.
On the other side of campus, while performances were held, students and alumni gathered to celebrate with friends in the tailgate. Upon entry, bags were checked, and everyone 21 received a wristband indicating if they were of legal age to drink.
“It’s definitely different,” junior chemistry major Andy Glass said. “My freshman year, you could literally walk right in.”
In Lot 4, D.J.s were blasting music, while many brought their own food and grills for fresh barbecue. Outside the Rathskeller, the Beer Garden was set-up for those 21 and over. On the Sundial Lawn, the annual Gridiron Homecoming BBQ took place, serving hot foods including ribs and pulled pork for a $15 pre-registration admission fee and $20 at the gate. Registration also included separate bleacher seats for the football game.
Though the Lions lost the game to William Paterson 21-0, the College’s Dance Team and cheerleaders tried to liven the crowd with their performances while the Pep Band played from the bleachers — their first performance at a football game since being approved by Student Government just over one month ago.
“It was my first Homecoming as a college student, and it couldn’t have been any better,” freshman chemistry major MaryAnn Corcione said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Following the game, the winners of Spirit Week were announced, with top honors going to Sigma Lambda Beta, Sigma Kappa and Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Regardless of the few changes made, many believe that Homecoming was still a fun experience.
“It’s just a great time, and you can enjoy it no matter what,” junior elementary education and integrative STEM double major John Rothman said.