Students gear up for Homecoming

Anh Bui

Homecoming is right around the corner, and various student groups around campus are preparing to showcase their talents to win the homecoming cup and welcome alumni back. This year, Homecoming Co-Chairs senior Isabelle Jordan and junior Jared Slusher are in charge of coordinating Homecoming and overseeing all events that will take place from the week of Oct. 10-Oct. 13.

Homecoming does not just happen instantly.

“We are in charge of making sure that homecoming is running smoothly, logistically and to create the correct ambiance for all events,” Slusher said. “We plan the schedule, rent places for events and hire judges for each event. Each event consists of a committee of two judges, who we train and direct them of their responsibilities.” 

Sophomore Bryanna Matkovich, Talent Show Co-Chair, gave a brief description and the most exciting part of her position.

“My co-chair Jonathan and I have to schedule slots for the audition, hold the auditions, contact some judges for the night and host the show itself,” Matkovich said. “It’s truly fascinating the diversity of talents that Augustana has. We have people who sing, play instruments or both. We have a dancer, we have someone playing jazz, we have someone doing dad jokes and just so much more. It’s really cool!”

Matkovich also enjoys being on the other side of the talent show, “We were doing auditions for two hours and that didn’t even feel like it,” Matkovich said. “It was so cool to see what happens behind the scenes.” 

Homecoming provides opportunities for current students to connect with Augustana’s alumni. 

“I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know the people that I am working with,” Slusher said. “Getting to work with Isabelle throughout summer and then at the beginning of the year up until now has been really awesome. Everyone’s working so hard to get this done and put on a good show.” 

Senior Amber Johnson, President of Chi Omega Gamma sorority, also agrees with this.

“Welcoming our alumni back is the best part for me,” Johnson said. “At our alumni barbecue last year, I had the chance to talk to COG pledges from the 70s and 80s. They were amazing at sharing their stories and their history with the sorority. I’ve learned so much from them and it truly strengthened my pride in these letters.”

The Homecoming Court will continue to be gender-inclusive, following last year’s Homecoming’s changes. This decision was made with consideration from the Homecoming committee and coordinators.

“Last year was the first time Augustana had a gender-inclusive Homecoming Court, and this year, we sat down again to make sure that everything we’re doing is concrete,” Slusher said. “We found it’s more reasonable to just crown the most-voted members of each class, rather than having it be split by gender. It’s unnecessary to assign gender to something that shouldn’t have.”

Johnson also favors having a gender-inclusive homecoming court, “I think that by doing that, they’re including all identities and really making sure that everybody feels represented,” Johnson said. “Once the gender language is removed, pretty much anybody, no matter your gender identity, can see themselves on stage.”

The Chi Omega Gamma sorority, along with Augie’s Greek groups will participate in this year’s Homecoming’s activities. Johnson commented on the strong presence of Greek life in Homecoming and her thoughts on the meaning of Homecoming.

“Since Homecoming is also a competition, most people who are affiliated with a Greek group choose to associate with their respective sorority or fraternity for scoring purposes,” Johnson said. “However, Augustana students are still involved in many different activities and organizations. We should continuously emphasize that Homecoming is to welcome back all alumni and not just Greek alumni. It’s anybody that’s ever been an Augie student, anybody that’s ever called Augustana their home.”

Slusher leaves those participating in homecoming this year with a bit of advice, 

“Have fun, enjoy yourselves and live in the moment,” Slusher said. “At the end of the day, it’s just Homecoming and not going to be the end of the world. Enjoy the time that you have with the group that you signed up for and with the friends around you.”