The first few weeks of the semester have quickly gone by, with students getting settled in their new homes and new classes. Freshmen and transfer students have begun to find their groups of friends. Older students remember the best places to eat, study and party around campus, enjoying the full college experience.
As a freshman, I willingly traded my big, cozy home for a tiny residence hall room crammed with other students in the hopes of learning more about the subjects I love and doing what I like to call “adulting.”
This weekend, the campus will be filled with parents and alumni who will reminisce and celebrate with current students. Some parents know UC Berkeley as the place their children have come to study and grow up in, but for others, returning to campus brings back memories of the place they used to call home.
I heard something on campus, however, that really made me question the purpose of Homecoming.
Out on Sproul Plaza, I heard a student exclaim to his friend, “Shouldn’t there also be a time for students to celebrate their first day of school at Berkeley? Shouldn’t we have a Homecoming?”
So let’s get this straight — Homecoming is not really an event for the current students. It’s for the alumni who have enough time to come back to campus. Homecoming is a reunion and parents’ weekend.
“I love that Homecoming is just for us,” an alumnus said, while surrounded by exhilarated students preparing for the Homecoming football game.
This makes sense: The term itself is a play on the words “coming home.” The school should have a time for past students to come back and celebrate the “good ol’ days” with their college buddies. Alumni should get a chance to catch up and have a few beers before they have to go back to work and face the grim reality of adult responsibilities.
But then again, I think back to what the student on Sproul Plaza said. Should we have our own Homecoming? I decided to ask a few of my upperclassman friends what they thought about this interesting topic.
“I think we deserve it,” said a campus junior. “All the alums get to be celebrated, but we are the ones going to classes every day and paying the school. They should celebrate us.”
We already have Getting Your Bearings to help new students make the transition onto campus. The program has many events and activities to make sure new students feel involved and welcomed to the campus.
Students get their fair share of activities with music events at Hertz Concert Hall, speakers at Zellerbach Hall and rallies and sport days at sport fields — not to mention the numerous parties students host.
“These aren’t enough,” said a campus senior. “We don’t have an event specifically celebrating students. The administration should be glad we come back and continue to make the school the No. 1 public university.”
The history of homecoming extends all the way back before World War II, an integral part of UC Berkeley’s cultural and community tradition. But maybe it is time for a change — a time for students to get a day for themselves.
“It’s time for a revolution,” said a campus sophomore. “Let’s get our ASUC senators to make a change. Homecoming will never be the same again.”