In an effort to maintain Oklahoma Christian University’s annual homecomings of school spirit, activities and tradition, this year, the social service club point system in awarding homecoming winners will take on a new twist.
Senior Erin Hairston, the executive organization director, organized the Harvest Festival Oct. 30 to kick off homecoming week.
“This year, we’re only doing two mandatory events and we’re not doing any exemptions,” Hairston said. “That just kind of takes out the middle man of having to figure out the points and percentage. Whenever you force people to go, get points and say you have to go, people just kind of resent it and then it’s not that much fun.”
Hairston said she and the other executives have been working hard to make this year fun. She said they all agreed to be unbiased when it comes to club voting. Specifically, Hairston plans to avoid working with her club’s float, to completely eliminate partiality.
“We’re trying to make each event fun enough where you’re going to want to go and people will enjoy it,” Hairston said. “I think it’s going to be really good and plus, we have a lot of different things to get points from. We try to get a wide variety of clubs represented on the executive committee.”
Parent Association Director and Homecoming sponsor Liz McElroy helps monitor the student side of activities going on this homecoming week. McElroy said she encourages SGA to think beyond themselves, especially considering homecoming’s philanthropy aspect.
“I work closely with the SGA president who is in charge of the second philanthropic effort that’s connected with homecoming,” McElory said. “Along with all the activities, this year the selected target is the International Student Council. I don’t know if that was a God thing, but it worked out that the overall theme had an international flavor of bringing it back home.”
McElroy said she has encouraged the student leaders for this year’s homecoming to focus on making homecoming a more unified project rather than social club oriented. As a change, this years’ homecoming will only have three mandatory check-in events, the men’s basketball game, women’s basketball game, and the pep rally.
“We urged the student directors to move away from mandatory activities,” McElroy said. “The club competition concept is fun, but I’ve really urged the directors to step back from that and think about the activities of the week are meant to be for the whole campus and get people to build relationships with each other, and celebrate our athletes. I feel like this year we have taken a big step.”
Senior Kale Thomas is this year’s homecoming parade director and has been involved with homecoming for the past three years.
“This year is really unique, because we are honoring all of the different countries,” Thomas said. “It has been a challenge, but I think that the rest of the executive committee and SGA have done a good job of blending the OC atmosphere and honoring the countries.”
Thomas said this year’s homecoming is naturally different from those in the past years, since each year works as a learning experience. He said this year’s homecoming is a stepping-stone for the years to come, and the idea is to find success and failures to apply to future events.
“This year is different as we are trying set up next year’s homecoming for success,” Thomas said. “We are trying to think of new ideas so that we can pass them on to the executive committee next year and so on, allowing each year to hopefully become better than the last. I also want this year to be a big hit, so I am putting everything I have into this year’s school year and hoping for something great.”