Homecoming - Throwback

This week is Homecoming on our campus! It’s been an exciting week thus far, and a much welcomed break amongst the craziness of midterm season. Each year Homecoming has a theme attached to it. This year our theme is “Throwback”. With this we welcomed back some old UNI traditions, got to listen to some great tunes, and I was able to bump a notch with my involvement on campus as a professional.

At UNI, we host a great Homecoming competition called the Panther Pride Cry. Students have to sing our Fight Song, and dance and sing to a Homecoming parody using popular songs on the radio. The competition has evolved from when I was a student at UNI, but I think the stricter ruler has forced students to use their creativity to think outside of the box more. Students had 3 minutes to perform, and they are not allowed to do lifts or acrobatics, and they are not allowed to use sound equipment. Each year our students surprise me more and more with their talent. Multiple teams compete for a chance to be in the Finals, which are hosted on Friday Night at our Homecoming pep rally. Student organizations are encouraged to pair up with each other for Homecoming activities. Panther Pride Cry has been a student favorite for many years. This year we welcomed to the finals: newcomers Orchesis Dance Company, Student Admissions Ambassadors and Connecting Alumni to Students, and Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

I have always been very passionate about Homecoming festivities because it is the time of 
year when we all become one as a community. We’re not just members of such and such organization, but we’re Panthers! Some of my colleagues over in the Student Involvement Center, who organize Homecoming, know how much I love this time of year. I have served as a judge for the Panther Pride Cry for two years. However, this year I was bumped up to become an MC for the Kickoff. Another colleague and I stepped in, and we made complete goofs of ourselves in front of the students. The students however, enjoyed our show to the max! My colleague Ashley and I did our own version of the Evolution of Dance for our show. We brainstormed some great “throwback” songs and a student created a “mixtape” for us. We included some classics like “Jump On It”, “Ice Ice Baby”, “Footloose”, and “Come On Eileen”. We also gave a touch of contemporary day with “Gangnam Style”, the new Korean pop song that has taken America by storm. 

As a new professional, I behave as professional as possible in all things I am involved in. However, I stand at a whopping 5 feet tall, and many still mistake me for a student, which gave me an idea for our Kickoff show. For my version of “Throwback”, I let loose and channeled the Tabatha I used to be in college: A Dancing Machine. Did I regret it in the morning? Yes, of course I did (who didn’t regret stuff they did in college?). Did the students have a great time? YES! Should I feel bad about it? Nope. Thankfully, everyone loved the show, and Ashley and I were asked to MC the pep rally for Friday Night. My students blew up my Facebook Notifications and Twitter Feed with lots of support and love. Although I feel like I’m the crazy lady on campus, the students think I’m the coolest advisor ever (I know, I’m trying not to get a big head over it—but after some rough weeks, it’s nice to hear that they appreciate you). I think it’s important for students to see you in your element every once in awhile. That way they don’t forget that you’re a human being and you have hopes and dreams, that you have bad hair days, that sometime you get food stuck on your teeth, and that you like to dance like a robot to make people smile. 

If you’re celebrating Homecoming on your campus, have fun and get involved! Tweet me at @tabatha_cruz and share with us what are some of your favorite Homecoming traditions.

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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