Homecoming Week and Family Weekend need separation

Fireworks, tailgating, kings and queens. It’s time for Homecoming on the Hilltop.

It’s a long-standing tradition at schools across the country and at Bradley, the week-long extravaganza is marked by a 4-foot wide, 8-foot tall “B” that sits atop Bradley Hall for a number of days.

But Homecoming at Bradley hardly feels like a major event anymore. This year, students are only given a few events to choose from each day of the week.

The most exciting event of the week, the Lighting of the B, takes place on Monday, leaving students to decide between activities like the “Bradley Dash” (reminiscent of “The Amazing Race”) or their usual antics on Fredonia Avenue or Farmington Road Tuesday through Friday.

Take a guess as to which will be the more popular option.

Today, the week is kicked off with the annual “Painting of the Lydias” event, in which student organizations paint a plywood cutout of the university’s foundress. But it’s an event that only engages student groups and it’s the only thing planned for today. Next Friday’s big (and only) event is a mentalist duo but, how is this different than the hypnotist performance during Welcome Week? Besides, what relevance does a mentalist have to Bradley tradition?

Now, to address the elephant in the room. Bradley’s Homecoming Week and Family Weekend are combined something The Scout can’t help but feel is counterproductive. How are students expected to tailgate and cheer on the soccer team while also spending time with their families on Bradley’s campus and the Peoria area?

Yes. The answer is money. But shouldn’t the Homecoming game be considered more … sacred? It certainly is at other universities.

At the University of Iowa, Saturday is called “Game Day,” and it’s a big tradition on campus. But consider a school without a football team, like Creighton University. Their “Homecoming game” is a soccer game, as well, but the big day is chock full of activities like golf cart races, tailgates, brewery tours and trolley tours of Omaha.

We don’t mean to sound unappreciative, but we’re concerned. There seems to be, all around, a lack of administrative support and interest to what the Activities Council of Bradley University (ACBU) is able to plan. And it tells the student body that Bradley can’t quite pull together a strong, united identity.

By separating the two events, students would no longer have to choose between attending Family Weekend events and participating in Homecoming Week activities.

If students remember their undergraduate Homecoming celebrations as boring, disengaging and lacking, why would they want to return to the Hilltop as alumni?

2 Comments

  1. I agree with what this article is saying, however, this article clearly was not reviewed prior to publication.

  2. This article is terribly misinformed and poorly written. Not only is it missing many apostrophes, but your author spouts many unsupported claims and fails to account for a variety of factors in writing this article. I understand this is an opinion piece and I support the right of The Scout to be critical, but if this were my publication, I would be ashamed and embarrassed to have published such a weak piece.

    The article states, “Bradleys Homecoming Week and Family Weekend are combined something The Scout cant help but feel is counterproductive.”

    Firstly, Homecoming Week and Family Weekend have been combined in past years and nothing about that weekend proved to be particularly “counterproductive.” Is your question, “How are students expected to tailgate and cheer on the soccer team while also spending time with their families on Bradleys campus and the Peoria area?” what you are citing to be what is so “counterproductive” about that weekend? What about the possibility of bringing your family to the soccer game? Is that really so bad? I brought my family to the soccer game last year and it was my cousin’s favorite part of the entire weekend.

    Secondly, Homecoming Week 2017 was originally planned to take place September 25-30. However, the university decided to move Homecoming because the original date coincided with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and Bradley wants to ensure that everyone is able to participate. Because the events of Homecoming Week use so many in-demand campus venues (the SC ballroom, Dingledine, Markin, the Alumni Center, the Renaissance Coliseum, etc.) and so many vendors and performers are contracted in the spring, it’s not so simple as to say, “let’s make it this randomly-chosen week instead.”

    The article indirectly accuses Student Activities of forcing students, “to choose between attending Family Weekend events and participating in Homecoming Week activities,” while simultaneously accusing them of only offering, “a few events to choose from each day of the week” and implying that students would rather drink. Students are always going to want to drink, but Homecoming only comes around once a year. Yes, Bradley students aren’t particularly known for their school spirit, but this article is serving to perpetuate that problem. If you’ll refer to this schedule of Homecoming Week/Family Weekend events (https://www.bradley.edu/alumni/homecoming/schedule/) you’ll see that, yes, there are significantly more events happening on the weekend than during the week. However, there *are* events happening every day of the week. Just as students tend to drink, they also tend to go to class and study during the week. It wouldn’t make sense to offer multiple events every day. The objective of the Homecoming committee on ACBU is not to offer students dozens of, “events to choose from each day of the week,” as The Scout seemingly suggests there should be, but rather to “brings campus together in celebrating the university” by “bring[ing] fun activities for students to participate in,” (http://www.acbu.org/homecoming.html). If you have any concrete suggestions and valid reasons as to why that would make more sense, that might be an article more worthy of publishing.

    Yes, you do sound unappreciative. You do not sound concerned; you sound entitled.

    Lastly, you wrote, “The answer is money.” What the heck is this supposed to mean? Bradley is a non-for-profit institution. Do you really think that our university is so incredibly profit-hungry that they think combining Family Weekend and Homecoming Week would be an effective means of increasing revenue? Pardon me if that’s not what you meant, but you failed to elaborate or support your accusation.

    If you’re going to trash the efforts of Student Activities, ACBU, and the Alumni Association to make Homecoming Week and Family Weekend a fun celebration for all, at least support your claims with valid arguments and add a few apostrophes where needed. This is hands-down one of the most disappointing Scout articles I’ve read.

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