After being canceled last fall due to COVID-19, homecoming is back, this time with a little twist.
To replace Homecoming, the Student Activities Board has created “Spirit Week” to give students a taste of what they missed last September.
Although Homecoming is typically an event for students and alumni, this year there will be two separate events to better serve campus safely. Spirit Week will be held from March 1 – 6, with an alumni-specific event to follow later in the spring.
“Really what we’re trying to do is accommodate both groups,” said Fiona Shea, assistant director of Student and Young Alumni Programs. “The alumni office will be doing our best to bring alumni together, even if we have to do things separately from the students. We are planning on hosting a Blue and White Weekend in May to invite alumni back for a weekend.”
Even though alumni will not return to campus for Homecoming this semester, SAB’s Spirit Week will look very similar to the traditional Homecoming event line-up.
“The main way that Spirit Week will differ from your typical Hillsdale Homecoming is that it’ll be a completely student-centered celebration,” SAB Big Event Leader Luciya Katcher said. “We on SAB wanted to make the students’ side of Homecoming happen during this school year.”
Spirit Week activities will include the traditional banner competition, photo competition, trivia night, volunteer hours competition, Mock Rock dance competition, and a newly added “Minute to Win It” competition. Each group competing in “Minute to Win It” will pick a member to represent its team to compete with other team representatives in a series of fast-paced challenges, said Zane Mabry, director of student activities.
“We all want to keep this week well-connected to the past and traditional events that we’ve had,” Mabry said. “We’re not trying to do something completely new here, so we want to keep as many elements the same as we can.”
Similar to years past, all dorms, off-campus houses, Greek houses, and coalitions can compete in each competition, Katcher said.
“We are still ironing out the final details of what Spirit Week will look like, and of course we want to make sure that students are staying safe during these events,” Katcher said. “We encourage taking health precautions like wearing masks and will be hosting events in places that will give students the ability to social distance.”
At this point, there is a football game scheduled for March 6 at 2 p.m., but only players’ families will be allowed to attend home football games, based on current state mandates, according to Head Football Coach Keith Otterbein.
Regardless of the differences, SAB is excited to celebrate students and organize a homecoming-inspired week for them, Katcher said.
“Spirit Week is going to be a great way to build community at Hillsdale through competition and fun,” Katcher said. “I can’t wait to watch WhitWatWay defend their title from Simpson during Mock Rock and see who this year’s underdog will be.”