What is Homecoming?

By Alina Buzgar, Editor-in-Chief

Though homecoming is the backdrop of so many American movies, it was a mystery to me until just a few days ago. I mean… what is homecoming? I felt that answering this question would give me further insight into American culture and help me decide whether or not to participate in the Arizona State University (ASU) Homecoming event on November 14.

From my preliminary “research” it looks like homecoming is an event meant to celebrate your school, usually held in the fall, and organized around a football home game. It’s also a good excuse for many alumni to travel back to their alma mater, for students and parents to come out and enjoy the weekend. Parade, block party, football. Got it.

ASU-Homecoming-Parade (Courtesy www.phoenix.org)
ASU-Homecoming-Parade (Courtesy www.phoenix.org)

At ASU homecoming is prefaced by weeklong festivities, including many other athletic events, entertainment on and off campus. Here’s a glimpse at 2012 Homecoming. Stefanie Rowe (MBA ’16, US), an ASU graduate herself, explains: “Alumni come home for this occasion from wherever they happen to be at the time. And, for some classes, they organize special events because it’s a great way to reunite and celebrate. It’s good for the international students to experience this very American thing we do.”

ASU Homecoming Game (Photo courtesy asuevents.asu.edu)
ASU Homecoming Game (Photo courtesy asuevents.asu.edu)

“Thunderbird will be at the parade in Tempe – University Drive and Mill Avenue – and at the block party, with a booth showcasing the school, and equipped with a global wheel of fun,” says Erin Schneiderman, Director of Special Events. “To get to the event, there’s the ASU West shuttle as well as two shuttles starting at Thunderbird that morning. T-birds are encouraged to participate in the parade by signing up. When they sign up, students will be asked if they would like to carry the flag of their native country that we will bring or wear a blue Thunderbird shirt.”

“As a foreign student, participating in American traditions, like homecoming, is a lot of fun. Thunderbird gives us a more global experience while ASU provides the quintessential American experience many of us only saw in movies. Also, having the chance to carry my flag and perhaps meeting some fellow Venezuelans sounds like a fun idea” says Carlos Melendez (MS ’15, Venezuela).

ASU Homecoming Game (Photo courtesy ASU Flickr)
ASU Homecoming Game (Photo courtesy ASU Flickr)

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