By Tom Ballard Staff Writer
The College was perfused with blue and gold last week during Spirit Week, which sought to raise pride for the school, leading up to its Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 24.
The week, which began on Monday Oct. 19, and carried through until Friday Oct. 23, was the College’s 28th annual Homecoming Spirit Week and was filled with a variety of activities and contests ranging from men’s cheerleading to lip syncing battles.
The week brought the College back in time, with teams having to abide by the theme of “Decades” in their performances and painted murals.
During the week, the Homecoming Spirit Week Committee kept track of the performance of each of the 10 Spirit Week teams that were comprised of 23 of the College’s organizations. The team consisting of Delta Phi Epsilon and Co. were proclaimed as the overall victors after the week’s 12 different scorable events. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Kappa and Sigma Lambda Beta placed second and Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Chi Rho took third.
The lip sync contest, according to Homecoming Spirit Week Chair Nicole DiMarco, was the largest event with an audience of approximately 1,400 students. The battle was won by the team comprised of Phi Alpha Delta, Delta Zeta and Delta Epsilon Psi, with their contemporary performance of 2015. Delta Phi Epsilon and Co. followed in second with their rendition of the Roaring 1920s and a spin-off of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Other performances included the Stars and Stripes Company’s performance of the 1770s with a twist of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” and Delta Tau Delta and Alpha Xi Delta’s throwback to the 2000s with flip phones and MySpace. The teams had to use their assigned decade to describe the outcome of the following day’s Homecoming football game against Montclair State University through their performance. The event was held in the Recreational Center on Friday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m..
The contest also included a dance competition where teams collaborated to put on choreographed dances that corresponded with their assigned decade. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Kappa and Sigma Lambda Beta danced away as victors with their 1960s themed dance. Phi Kappa Psi and Zeta Tau Alpha placed second, while Phi Alpha Delta, Delta Zeta and Delta Phi Epsilon tied for third.
“This year, the Lip Sync and Dance Competitions were fantastic,” DiMarco said. “Each team did a great job of telling a story throughout their performances and (were) very entertaining.”
Other contests during the week took place on the Loser Hall Lawn on Monday, Oct. 19, which included a human pyramid and three-legged race, both won by the team of Delta Phi Epsilon and Co.
Alpha Xi Delta showed its strength by winning the women’s tug-of-war contest while Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Chi Rho showed enough spirit for the College to win the men’s cheerleading contest and the mural painting competition.
Kappa Delta and Phi Kappa Tau volleyed up a victory in the volleyball competition while Phi Alpha Delta, Delta Zeta and Delta Epsilon Psi were focused enough to win the dizzy bat competition and the potato sack relay. Sigma Sigma Sigma, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Delta Lambda Phi showed their knowledge by conquering the inaugural Homecoming Spirit Week trivia contest.
“The events for Spirit Week are, for the most part, the same every year,” DiMarco said. “We try to make sure that there are a variety of activities that showcase all of the students’ talents, such as artistic ability, theatrical skills and athletic skills.”
Not all events during the week had a competitive edge. Student Government held its annual T-shirt swap, where students were able to swap out a T-shirt from their old high school or another college in order to receive a new long-sleeve Homecoming shirt on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Nicole Herrmann, a junior marketing major and a senator for the School of Business who created the swap, said that the event ran out of the 1,100 shirts in 43 minutes.
“It was crazy,” Herrmann said. “I had to post in the Facebook event page to let people know that we ran out.”
Herrmann said that the swapped-out T-shirts will be donated to Goodwill. Herrmann also noted that it was the second time SG handed out smoothies from Smoothie King during their swaps and the first 500 students who came out on Wednesday received a smoothie in a College Homecoming koozy, a measure that she said contributed to getting students even more excited for Homecoming.
“At the Homecoming tailgate I saw so many students wearing the long sleeve shirt from this year’s event,” Herrmann said. “It gets students excited and allows them to show their school pride.”
Throughout the week there were free give-aways that provided students with blue and gold bead necklaces, cowbells, whistles and even the opportunity to tie-dye their own free Spirit Week T-shirt blue and gold. The Atrium at Eickhoff Hall was also decorated with blue and gold pendants and blasted collegiate fight songs during its Blue and Gold Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 23.
“The primary goal of Spirit Week is to bring together the campus community while showing our TCNJ pride,” DiMarco said. “I do believe this goal was absolutely achieved this year. Each team showed great dedication and worked extremely hard to make this week successful.”
The week’s proximity to Halloween also allowed the Spirit Week committee to put on “Haunted TCNJ” where a haunted house was displayed in Allen Hall and faculty and staff were able to bring their children to Travers and Wolfe towers to go trick-or-treating.
According to DiMarco, the theme “Decades” beat out board games and historical events to be chosen as the theme for this year.