A newly formed Student Life committee led by Morgan Calvert has started to make changes with homecoming, including the application for homecoming court, the dance (or lack thereof), and the theme for this year’s and future homecoming events.
“Everyone I talked to wished homecoming was more formalized, more prestigious, more collegiate and that it would be more traditional,” she said.
So when Calvert started making changes the first thing she wanted to tackle was the application process for homecoming court.
In recent years there was no regulations or process included to be nominated for the court. There was simply a list of everyone in senior standing and that was it. An email was sent out for students to vote for any senior-level candidate.
“There wasn’t a grade check, some weren’t even enrolled and we even had people who just enrolled at semester and didn’t have a presence at Newman” Calvert said. “Students came to me and said they wanted the process to be more prestigious and taken seriously.”
So Calvert talked to a committee of student government members and they came up with the idea for an application process.
“We wanted the individuals who actually want to be nominated to apply for the homecoming court because they know they are a great representation of the senior class,” she said.
Calvert said the application process also means students who don’t care or who don’t want to be nominated don’t have to be.
But what about the dance? Well, there won’t be one.
“I needed to figure out what worked well in the past and what didn’t work, along with how we could make it better,” Calvert said. “It [the dance] is a great idea in theory but nobody went and it wasn’t a good financial decision of student fee money.”
And for the theme of homecoming week?
There will be one, to a certain degree.
“When I came into this position, I wondered why we had themes that had nothing to do with Newman” Calvert said. “Return of the Jet-I last year was fun, but it only appealed to students who understood the ‘Star Wars’ references.”
So, Calvert suggested to the Student Life team to move away from themes so that the work and costs involved in making homecoming week possible didn’t go to waste after just one year.
“We are trying to be good stewards of our budget,” Calvert said, “The whole theme should always be Newman and Jet pride…so this year we have had Newman University for 85 years and we are celebrating that.”
The Homcoming court will be recognized on Thursday, during the men’s and women’s basketball games.
This story first appeared in the February 1, 2018 issue of The Vantage.