Homecoming should reflect unique university culture
This year, there were no alumni reunions as a part of the activities for Homecoming. Instead the reunions have been moved to Spring Carnival, and we’re happy that they have been. Alumni — especially recent alumni — don’t typically come back for Homecoming; they come back for Carnival. Carnival is one of the most unique events at Carnegie Mellon and certainly one of the most memorable for its students. In fact, many reunions were already held during Carnival. This switch will help both consolidate the planning efforts of the staff and make for a more cohesive reunion across various generations.
This change, however, leaves the question of what Homecoming at Carnegie Mellon should be. At many other universities, Homecoming centers on a football game. We can all agree that football is not a large part of the culture here, so there seems to be no reason to center our event on it. If last week’s “A Person’s Opinion” is any indication, students most look forward to the chili cook-off of any Homecoming event.
That said, we believe that Homecoming is an important Carnegie Mellon event and one of the few events that stands out during the fall semester. However, we think Homecoming should cater to our specific school culture and not a more general college standard.
Some steps have already been taken to make Homecoming reflect Carnegie Mellon’s unique environment. We think the chili cook-off, the Scotch’n’Soda show, and Bhangra in the Burgh are great steps toward developing such a Carnegie Mellon tradition. We are happy to see the university create events that express our unique aspects instead of trying to fit us into a more typical college image. We look forward to seeing how Homecoming changes in the coming years.