As pictured, student organizations paint the windows in the Evelyn Young Dinning Room.

Gustavus gears up for Homecoming 2019: Students celebrate by particating in Gustavus traditions

Homecoming Week has arrived and the Campus Activities Board has planned an eventful several days for Gusties.

From painting to lip syncing, Homecoming brings an abundance of fun for all: students, alumni and faculty alike. This year’s theme “Going for the Gold” is inspired by an Olympic and competition oriented theme. “‘Going for the Gold’ encompasses the idea that Gusties strive for excellence, whether that is through literal competition, in the events like the Lip Sync Battle and the games, but also in self expression and community building, with events like Window Painting and the Rave that strengthen friend/organization bonds,” sophomore, traditions executive on the Campus Activities Board, Alexia Vonruden said.

On Monday night, student organizations, athletic teams and Greek life. were given the opportunity to paint the windows in the cafeteria, displaying the expansive options and ways for students to get involved during their time here on the hill. On Wednesday, the Campus Activities Board hosted a Dive dance with an Olympic theme, echoing the entire Homecoming theme for this year.  Friday night brings the Lip Sync Battle, where student organizations on campus can compete for a monetary prize to help benefit their respective organization. Following this annual event will be Boom Boom Bingo at 8:15 p.m. and Insomnia Cookies at midnight. Boom Boom Bingo is a new event this year, offering a new spin on Homecoming’s usual events.

“It’s a three hour bingo event that will run three games of bingo, in which the winners receive cash prizes. The game has a disco-party twist with a DJ, confetti, and interactive mini games between number calling with smaller like inflatable items and life size cutouts of celebrity’s, and others. There will also be pizza,” Vonruden said.

The Campus Activities Board ensures that students and their opinions are heard regarding the Homecoming events.

“The entire student body plans the events. Through the General Committee, any student can be involved in direct input regarding what activities they want, how much should be spent on an event, and other things like that. We also take student feedback into consideration when determining which events will be putting on; if the student body doesn’t respond to a particular event, we reconsider what we will put on in future years and how we can improve certain events,” Vonruden said.

The Campus Activities Board has been planning this event since last year.

“CAB has been planning these events since the end of the Spring semester so we are so excited for everyone to attend and enjoy everything we’re offering this week,” junior and co-Traditions executive, Katie Orcutt, said.

Vonruden made sure to recognize the help that the rest of the board and the Director of Campus Activities, Andrea Junso, contribute to Homecoming, in addition to the Traditions Co-Executives and Co-Presidents.

“[The executive board] help us determine certain events by voting and providing input, making and hanging posters, and being on the ground working the actual events as they happen. They do as much heavy lifting as anyone else. And finally, the biggest superstar is our Director, Andrea Junso.  She provides the contact information for anyone on campus we need to talk to, is usually the initial contact for anyone we contract, and provides the brainpower to help keep track of all the details. None of Homecoming would be possible without her,” Vonruden said.

Orcutt mentioned a couple of events that she has enjoyed and is looking forward to including Insomnia Cookies and the Homecoming Rave.

Homecoming has been a tradition at Gustavus for several decades. Looking back throughout the years, some events have remained the same: the Saturday football game, Homecoming court, etc. These traditions can be found in the articles of The Gustavian Weekly from as far back as 1947.

In addition to these traditions, there is window painting, which has been an event on campus for decades and can even be found in an edition of The Gustavian Weekly from 1988. Another that Gustavus does not continue, but was once part of Homecoming, is Powder Puff (event from 1969’s Homecoming).

One tradition that won’t be lost in Homecoming is the idea of unity, community and inclusivity.

“Homecoming is an important event that brings the student body together to celebrate the culture and students of Gustavus. Not only does it provide easily accessible and inclusive entertainment, but it also brings students and organizations on campus together; Homecoming brings an opportunity for making memories with friends, self expression, and creating a sense of togetherness here on the Hill. No matter where you’re from, Gustavus can be a home to you, and it’s important to encourage that idea,” Vonruden said.