Mary Warfel, Staff Writer
Homecoming 2016 was held Sept. 23 through Sept. 25, celebrating Utica Colleges 70th birthday. This was a great way for students to get involved on campus with the multitude of events such as sporting events, reunions, activities and live entertainment.
Homecoming was much earlier this year than most, but actually it wasn’t intentionally meant to be this way.
According to the Director of Student Activities Joe Gutowski, homecoming is scheduled based on when a home football game is, on a weekend with good weather and one that is not too early, so families can still join in on the homecoming fun.
“Students get excited for homecoming because it is a great way to unify the college,” Junior Heather Knight said. “I love going to the homecoming football game on Saturday; it makes me feel more involved in my school.”
Homecoming is about the memories that will be made by attending these events; they create a life-long impact.
“I would say my favorite college homecoming memory would have to be the homecoming I attended my sophomore year, when Jerred Beniquez scored the winning touchdown in overtime,” Junior Shyane Jones said.
There were plenty of things for students to partake in, including a carnival, talent show, football game, post-game happy hour, live bands and food.
“My favorite thing about homecoming would be the fact that I get to be around all my friends. I always look forward to the activities that will take place, and the laughs and memories that will be made,” Jones said. “Being involved in homecoming activities has made students feel more connected with their college; it gives students a sense of school pride.”
Sophomore Rylee Meelan said, “I feel more a part of school when I’m involved in homecoming activities, because it’s one weekend where everyone is so happy and can get along, it’s all about having school spirit for one school.”
Students have fond memories from high school homecomings as well as college.
“I went to Greenport High school, located on Long Island. I was a cheerleader so I cheered during the game,” Jones said.
“But before the game, a parade would be held. We would walk through our town all the way to the high school and all of the clubs and sports teams and homecoming prince and princess would be a part of it. It would be this big thing and people would be on the streets cheering us on and following us to the school. I loved being a part of the parade it was a great way to get excited for the game.”
According to Meelan, homecoming creates great memories and a sense of pride.
“My favorite memory about homecoming was from my freshman year at UC when I got to experience my first actual big football game. It was really cool to see so many people in the stands and around the field supporting our schools team,” Meelan said.
Gutowski enjoys homecoming because it provides him with the insight on how the students act in this setting and how they all; alumni, students and faculty join together.
“As a student, homecoming was about building school pride and reconnecting with people, I have been a part of four homecomings here at UC and it’s great to see the students and alumni that come out for homecoming weekend. It gives me a chance to experience UC through their eyes,” Gutowski said.