Rain fails to dampen Homecoming

Rain fails to dampen Homecoming

By Dinah Alobeid

A comedian, a mock government official and some royalty made last week’s Homecoming celebrations one of the most successful in recent years, organizers and students said. Even persistent rain couldn’t dampen attendance at the week’s events, said Homecoming Committee Chair Tom Kneafsey.

“We thought there would be a setback because of the weather, but it didn’t affect the week,” Kneafsey said. “The student body was great in terms of spirit and energy.”

A controversy surrounding Homecoming King and Queen was put to rest Saturday. For the past three years, members of the Student Ambassadors, Northeastern’s student-alumni relations organization, were elected either Homecoming King or Queen, causing some students to claim the process was unfair.

Kneafsey said he was unaware of any issue with prior Homecoming winners.

“To be honest, it wasn’t even on our minds. I think in years past, voting has been what it is and I don’t think it was necessarily unfair,” he said. “We definitely did notice that this year’s court was more diverse, a very eclectic group of students from all around the university, and that did make it a lot more fun.”

This year, no member of Student Ambassadors ran for king or queen. The number of people who voted did increase, however, with over 4,000 recorded votes cast, Kneafsey said.

The winners of Homecoming King and Queen were Student Government Association (SGA) President Ashley Adams and senior football player Keith Ford.

Homecoming King and Queen weren’t the only elected positions of this year’s Homecoming. The competition for Mayor of Huntington Avenue returned after disappearing from Homecoming events in 1989.

Heidi Buchanan, an SGA senator and former president of the NU Democrats, was elected Mayor and claimed the $500 prize. As part of her mayoral duties, Buchanan led the Homecoming parade and appeared at Friday night’s Midnight Madness and Saturday’s Homecoming football game. About 1,000 students voted for Mayor, which Kneafsey said made the event’s return a success.

Comedian Pablo Francisco, whose performance was sponsored by the Council for University Programs (CUP) and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), helped wrap up Homecoming Week Saturday night with two shows for parents and students.

Katie Regan, a longtime Francisco fan, said she enjoyed seeing him perform live.

“I really liked going to see Pablo because after watching the same Comedy Central skit for three years straight it was nice to see new stuff,” the senior English major said. “He incorporated some of the old stuff though. I went with four friends. We all had a really good time and we were quoting it for the rest of the night.”

But not all students were willing to ignore the conditions outside when it came to outdoor events.

“The weather was a big deal; I was going to go to the football game and parade with my family,” freshman physical therapy major Amanda Lord said. “We didn’t want to be outside in the rain.”

For other students, Homecoming was just not a priority.

“I actually went home for the weekend; I live close by,” sophomore graphic design major Nicole Bonasoro said. “I didn’t participate in anything last year probably because I had other things first on my priorities list.”

Having Parents Weekend coincide with Homecoming Week seemed to account for the larger crowds, Kneafsey said. Events such as the Beer and Wine Tasting last Thursday gave alumni, parents and legal-age students the chance to enjoy an event where alcohol was served on campus.

“The Ballroom in the Curry Student Center was filled. There were people standing on the sides and all the tables were full,” Kneafsey said. “I think it was a great addition to our Homecoming calendar.”

Only future Homecomings will provide an indicator of the event’s success and whether the university can consistently rally student participation. But for this year, Kneafsey said the Homecoming Committee is satisfied.

“The weather would’ve hurt us a lot more if it wasn’t for Parents Weekend,” he said. “There were parents at Midnight Madness and parents at the parade and that really upped the numbers.” –>

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