Homecoming hopes to draw larger crowds with daytime festivities

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Metro’s Homecoming Planning Committee is striving to improve upon a lackluster 2011 Homecoming when the 2012 Homecoming festivities kick off Feb. 6.

“We hope this year’s homecoming events will be the biggest and best ever,”  said Matt Brinton, Interim Assistant Director of Student Activities and Chair of the 2012 Homecoming Planning Committee.

Planning for this year’s homecoming began early in March of last year.

“This helped us get everyone together and on the same page much earlier [than last year],” Brinton said.

Preparations for 2011 homecoming didn’t begin until late in the 2010 fall semester, and resulted in problems coordinating the event.

Last year, participation in homecoming events was limited. Events that drew the least amount of people, including the Masquerade Ball and Valentines Dinner have been   replaced with daytime activities in hope of garnering more student involvement.

“The main challenge we face has to do with the fact we are an urban, commuter campus,” Brinton said. “It is difficult to ask students who have been on campus all day for class to find dinner on campus or downtown and then stick around for events.”

For most of Metro’s 47-year history, there has not been a homecoming week.

“We didn’t have one because we don’t have a football team,” Cathy Lucas, Associate Vice President of Communications and Advancement at Metro said.

In 2003, survey feedback from students and alumni indicated a desire for more school spirit events. As a result, homecoming was created.

“Homecoming is about building pride and tradition on campus,” Brinton said. “Metro is one of the premier schools in the Rocky Mountain region. Just because we are a commuter campus doesn’t mean our students don’t still want to participate in events and activities they would find on residential campuses.”

The Homecoming Planning Committee, which is comprised of representatives from various Metro offices and organizations, receives $10,000 per year. Liberty Mutual Insurance donated an additional $5,000.

Last year, homecoming costs amounted to nearly $17,000 — leaving the Student Government Assembly to pay the $7,000 overage.

In addition to the $15,000 available this year, Saunders Construction donated supplies to set up the bonfire and help mitigate the costs to the school.

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Chris Swain

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