By Angelique Lee
Back in high school, homecoming was a pretty big deal. Everyone talked about it, posters were up in the hallways and announcements were made every day that tickets were being sold. Now that we’re in college, homecoming should be an even bigger deal, right? Wrong.
As we all know, Rider University does not have a football team, thus no homecoming game and no homecoming dance. But almost no one knows there is a homecoming dance on the Westminster Choir College (WCC) campus, and this year, Lawrenceville students were permitted to go. In fact, there was a two-day celebration meant to unite Westminster and Lawrenceville students. On Friday, there was a pageant where seven upperclassmen vied to win Homecoming King and Queen. Saturday saw a flag football tournament between the campuses, almost like a real homecoming football game, but not quite. That night, homecoming was held under a tent on the Great Plains. This is not to say that the inside of the tent was plain or boring. The dance had a slight Asian theme, with gold, black and red balloons everywhere, high tables with black tablecloths and free key chains and bracelets with written symbols on them.
Homecoming is usually thought of as a nice, semi-formal dance where you take pictures in your good-looking outfits and dance the night away — but not at WCC, which had a “come as you are” philosophy. Guys looked handsome in their black pants and sweaters or dress shirts. Even though there were girls in sparkling dresses and high heels, there were also girls in jeans and nice shirts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for acceptance and not judging people based on appearance, but jeans? Really? If the event is “semi-formal,” a nice skirt wouldn’t be completely terrible. I am not saying to wear an elaborate ball gown, but you shouldn’t look like you just got out of class.
Homecoming was supposed to bring together all of the students on both campuses, to give off a “one school” effect. But Rider did not do a very good job of advertising the fact that Lawrenceville
students were allowed to enter the Westminster Homecoming with just a flash of their IDs and could bring one guest if they so chose. I only saw one sign that said when and where the dance was. In fact, it wasn’t a real sign, just a piece of paper labeled “Westminster Homecoming.” Once WCC students were informed of the fact that Lawrenceville students actually came to the dance, they were shocked, and came right up and introduced themselves. Some of them were under the impression that Lawrenceville students hated WCC students. Then it hit me: Even though WCC is a branch of Rider, the two campuses are thought to be two different schools, especially by the students.
The dance was thrown with the best of intentions, but Lawrenceville students, especially the underclassmen, should have been better informed of this special event. If upperclassmen, who have been going to this school for two or three years already, have no idea that we even have a Homecoming Dance, then that must mean it was under-publicized. Maybe next year Rider will tell everyone about homecoming when school first starts, not hang up sheets of paper and hope that students read them.