Author: Berit Anderson
Homecoming Week, sponsored by the Student Alumni Relations Committee (SARC), officially began last Monday, October 29, and programming troubles were not far behind. According to SARC co-president Andrea Lane (junior), a scheduled Monday lunchtime quad performance by Oxy student band Project 46 was cancelled at the last minute because one member was unable to perform. Coordinators quickly replaced the entertainment, broadcasting music across the quad on KOXY audio equipment to rally students’ school spirit. They also doled out free Halloween candy to passersby.
Wednesday’s lunchtime entertainment went off more smoothly. A performance by the Oxy Dance Team was complemented by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Throughout the Ages fashion show, which was intended to provide potential attendees of the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Homecoming Dance with costume inspiration.
The parents’ Friday arrival came along with the Homecoming Quad Parade which was sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The quad was packed with both students and parents, all looking on as a wide array of vehicles drove through the quad. All Occidental Athletics programs were represented at the event. The Women’s Rugby Team won the prize for best car.
Students 21 and over were invited to attend the Not Unhappy Hour Friday night, which was hosted by Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in Sycamore Glen. Beer, wine and food were provided, although the alcohol ran out about an hour after its 5 p.m. start time. Most attendees were either students or alumni. According to Phi Psi President Devon Puglia (senior), personal invitations were sent to a large number of faculty members.
Although the SARC traditionally plans and throws the Homecoming bonfire Friday night, this year a little improvisation was needed with respect to the fire itself.
Director of Communications James Tranquada issued a statement to the Occidental Community, Monday, October 29, announcing that the traditional Homecoming bonfire would be replaced with a “non-fire.” “Every year there is a possibility [the bonfire] will be cancelled because of high winds,” he said in an interview Sunday. “This year we felt that because there were so many fires and so many people who were losing their homes, it would be inappropriate to have a bonfire.”
The “non-fire” took place between 9 and 11 p.m. in the Johnson Student Center quad. Not only was the event fire-free, but it was almost s’more free as well. Lane and co-president Talia Gusfield (junior) acted quickly when facilities delivered the grills for the event without any charcoal. “We had to run out and buy some,” Lane said. She said neither she nor Gusfield had been notified that fuel wasn’t included in facilities’ portion of the agreement.
According to Lane, attendance was down from past years because the “non-fire” was not well publicized. Grills, s’more fixings and a hodgepodge of other snack foods were provided by the Alumni Committee. Football co-captain Chris Kyles (senior) complained that “captains don’t get to light the fires,” a task they have traditionally performed in years past.
Another place the SARC ran into trouble was in securing sufficient funding for the I Love Rock & Roll Homecoming dance, which took place on Saturday night. This year the dance was held in Sycamore Glen, and went from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. It was a Type III event, meaning alcohol was available for those who could prove they were over the age of 21.
In previous years, Campus Dining has provided bartenders for the dance’s beer garden in addition to catered food that SARC has bought from them, Lane and Gusfield reported. This year, however, Campus Dining opted not to continue with the donation of bartenders. With so many parents and alumni events on-campus over the weekend, Campus Dining was looking to cut corners wherever they could, according to the two co-presidents.
“They feel that the dance is a student function, and they shouldn’t be responsible for student functions,” Lane said.
Gusfield concurred. “They only feel it’s necessary to do stuff for parents and professors,” she said.
“Campus Dining doesn’t provide bartenders for student events. The Homecoming dance doesn’t differ much from other student dances, except that alumni may attend,” Amy Munoz, Associate Vice President for Hospitality Services said.
This left the two SARC co-presidents scrambling for funds at the last minute. “We’re always given about $5,000 by the Alumni Office,” Gusfield said Saturday. “But paying for independent bartenders cost about $500, which we didn’t have.” Luckily, she said, Programming Board stepped in to fill the fiscal void left by Campus Dining.
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