Pending a parade-ceasing threat for inclement weather, North Dakota State will enjoy Homecoming downtown after a 32-year hiatus, capping off a week’s worth of activities.
The annual fall celebration, spoiled by immanent severe weather last year, is forecasted to have highs in the 50s with sunshine.
The Homecoming committee, student government and Blue Key are just a few of the groups in charge of hosting the celebration.
NDSU President Dean Bresciani looked to revamp Homecoming organizing in 2012.
“Back in 2012, President Bresciani assembled a committee … to take a look at Homecoming,” Jobey Lichtblau, director of admission and Homecoming committee chair said, “to maybe makes some changes to Homecoming or explore what opportunities may be available.”
A working committee of about nine individuals was assembled for the annual task.
“Our committee takes a look at all of these issues,” Lichtblau said. “What we found was in the past was that different campus entities would have different events scheduled.”
Many events took place, but a centralized hub was lacking, Lichtblau said. “The focus of our committee was to bring it all together and make sure everyone knew about all the events.”
Representatives from every student committee associated with the event act as liaisons to the Homecoming committee.
Lichtblau said ample amounts of work have been done in preparation for the parade downtown and subsequent concert. Plans this year are similar to last year’s spoiled events.
“We really wanted to take plans we laid last year and worked so hard on and really see them true,” Lichtblau said.
Blue Key Show
The 2014 King and Queen of NDSU will be declared Thursday night at 7:30 during the Blue Key Homecoming show at Festival Concert Hall.
President of Blue Key Thomas Peterson said the organization’s main role during Homecoming is to plan the variety show and coronation.
Blue Key selects a different charity yearly to donate its fundraised money to. The $5 admission for the show goes directly to the charity.
“Each year we strive to top the previous year’s performance,” Peterson said. “Last year, we sold out Festival Concert Hall and raised close to $8,000 for Pray for Gray.”
“This year, we want to continue to provide an enjoyable show for everyone, sell out Festival again and raise even more funds for this year’s charity, CHARISM,” Peterson said.
“CHARISM is a nonprofit in Fargo that helps underprivileged families,” Tyler Ust, a first year Blue Key member said. “One of their main goals is after-school tutoring. (It’s) a great program, a great cause.”
Along with after-school tutoring, the Fargo business’ charter said it “addresses poverty in the community by providing youth enrichment programming.”
CHARISM is a United Way of Cass Clay partner agency.
“Getting submerged in this Homecoming week was actually quite fun,” Ust said. “The Homecoming show is really big.”
Peterson said he thinks Homecoming is an important event, too.
“Homecoming is a unifying event,” Peterson said. “Bison from the past, present and future, can come together to celebrate NDSU.”
“Fun is a great word,” Ust said of the week. “Busy — not the stressful busy but the fun busy. It makes you involved, you talk to a lot of people, you meet a lot of new people and, of course, seeing the Homecoming show is fun.”
Parade and Party
About 4,000 students commute daily to NDSU’s downtown campus, Lichtblau said. It is unknown how many students will travel Friday afternoon to the Campus Attraction’s Homecoming parade and party downtown.
“I hope students have the opportunity to go downtown, especially the students who maybe have never been down there,” Lichtblau said.
The parade will feature 124 entries this year.
Brat Pack Radio will perform from 7-10 p.m.
“I hope it’s big, and I hope students celebrate Homecoming in that downtown environment because it is such a great atmosphere,” Lichtblau said.
“It really is the best time to meet your fellow Bison,” Student Body President Sarah Russell said. “Share in the community and meet alumni and current students.”
A sea of yellow is expected downtown and at the game, thanks in part to a large T-shirt drive hosted by student government.
Russell said it is a large operation.
“T-shirts are probably the most time consuming of the tasks,” Russell said. “We have almost 1,000 shirts be preordered, and all of those need to be labeled and packaged and ready to go for Monday.”
Although the T-shirt design was approved about a month ago by University Relations, shirts came in last week.
“That was about a two-day turnover that that needed to happen,” Russell said. Student government “spent a lot time in here this weekend making sure that those were all organized and ready to be picked up.”
The $5 shirts often sell out before the end of the week, Russell said.
“We have a system down from previous years,” she said. “It’s pretty smooth, but it does take a lot of time.”