Homecoming breeds school spirit with parade, competition
Baruch College’s second annual Homecoming was celebrated on Oct. 20 with festivities throughout the day, ending with the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen.
Homecoming began in the afternoon with a parade of clubs on the 25th Street Plaza. A host of clubs were present, including Ecuadorian Club, Lexicon, Transfer Student Organization, United Chinese Language Association, Vietnamese Student Association and Women in Business.
Club members carried signs and banners down the plaza as they were introduced, chanting slogans or their clubs’ names in support of their organizations. Vivian Wang, the Undergraduate Student Government chair of Clubs and Organizations, explained the importance of including clubs and campus leaders in the Homecoming event.
“Since [Baruch is] located in the city it’s definitely more difficult to foster the same type of school spirit compared to a campus school,” Wang said. “The purpose of Homecoming was to show that despite being a commuter school, Baruch has a substantial amount of school spirit through our thriving and diverse club life.”
Following the parade, students were able to participate in a series of games. A pie-eating contest and bobbing for apples were both featured prominently in the event, as well as a student dance competition judged by college luminaries such as Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein and USG President Daniel Dornbaum. Homecoming-themed giveaways were distributed throughout the afternoon event, with stylized bearcat foam fingers and shirts being launched into the gathered crowd of students.
The afternoon event left an impression. Leondrit Mahmuti, an accounting major and recent transfer to Baruch, was excited by the event as it was something he had “never seen before in college.” He continued in his praise, saying, “I think [Homecoming] brings the students together and it connects people.”
The evening portion of Homecoming was split into two parts: a screening of Casper on the plaza and a Homecoming party in the Multipurpose Room. Out on the plaza, students could sit and watch the movie with friends or enjoy an ice cream bar staffed by USG members.
In the Multipurpose Room, students were able to find biscuits, fried chicken and pies, as well as a separate bar area with free alcoholic drinks for students who were over 21 years old.
Besides dancing to a DJ, students within the room could paint pumpkins, take photos at a photo booth or pay for the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of a USG member. The money—over $100—will go to Baruch’s Relay for Life charity event.
However, the most anticipated moment of the night was the reveal of the Homecoming king and queen. This Homecoming marked the first year that students were able to choose a king and a queen. Four hundred and fifty individual students cast their votes in the weeks prior to the event. There were 16 king and queen couples to choose from, with 15 clubs and one sports team participating.
“I like that this Homecoming is [about] student leaders who are active and that you see creating events for everyone [around campus]. That’s the best part—getting recognized for that,” said Kerry Swoish, an accounting major and nominee for Homecoming queen through Sigma Alpha Delta Honors Society. “It focuses on people who are giving back to the school and creating a better environment and I think that’s a really healthy thing to promote.”
After much fanfare, it was revealed that UCLA had won the Homecoming king and queen spots, with contestants Michael Liang and Katy Ho winning with 117 votes and 107 votes, respectively. Lexicon was the runner-up, with nominee Brandon Paillere garnering 107 votes. As a reward, both UCLA and Lexicon received gift baskets.
“One of the most important things that we want Baruch students to take away from Homecoming is that just because we’re a city university, it doesn’t mean we don’t have school spirit,” said Wang. “[USG Vice President of Campus Affairs] Nicole [Zelenko] and I wanted to throw an event where students could enjoy themselves, come out and see all these different organizations, clubs and sport teams participate in activities together.”
As students danced and reveled, it was clear that that mission had been accomplished.