Homecoming: One look at the word tells us that it is simply when someone or something comes home. This is the obvious definition. But, to colleges and universities, the word carries a deeper meaning.
The spirit of Homecoming is the opportunity for young and old to come together; the generation of yesterday melds with the generation of today. Alumni and students interact, celebrating their differences and the one thing they inevitably have in common: the University of La Verne.
It is the time for students to seek out networking opportunities, and the alumni to seek out opportunities feel young again-to be a part of student life at their alma mater.
Here at La Verne, however, we seem to have thrown out the deeper meaning of this definition.
This year, La Verne definitely welcomed alumni back to the University. In fact, few moments went by throughout Homecoming weekend in which an event was not in progress for the alumni.
University Relations planned a wealth of events, keeping the alumni active from 10 a.m. Friday morning until Sunday afternoon.
The first part of the definition was fulfilled. But where was the second part-the deeper meaning? Where was the interaction? When were the alumni given the chance to feel young again, to be a part of student life like they used to be? When were students given the chance to meet their predecessors and hear tales of the way it used to be?
Sure, the football game is a prime opportunity, but, this year, if you looked away from the game, someone scored another touchdown.
The fact is: Most of this year’s events were geared specifically at the alumni rather than the alumni and the students together.
And, although University Relations and ASF planned the events, they are not at fault here.
As students, we are. Even if events were geared toward students and alumni, students wouldn’t go, because, to put it bluntly, students at ULV just don’t care.
It’s sad but true. Despite the incredible networking opportunities Homecoming offers, students seem to possess a collective nonchalance about the weekend.
University Relations simply worked with what they had, which was a large number of anxious alumni and a majority of lackadaisical students.
As students, we find it easy to blame those in charge for our lack of Homecoming interaction, but think about it: Why would they gear events toward students, when they knew few, if any, would show up?
What is it that makes La Verne students so unwilling to welcome back those who went before us? Why are we so encased in our own worlds that we can’t open our eyes and see the opportunities Homecoming brings?
The spirit of Homecoming is dead at ULV; we killed it. And it is up to us to resurrect it.