Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homecoming parade lets students show off their spirit

Liberty University students exhibiting distracting, extreme behavior for the sake of school spirit might normally result in reprimands. However, for the Homecoming Parade, this kind of behavior is encouraged.

Show some spirit — Upcoming festivities such as the homecoming parade on Oct. 15 allow students a hands-on way to celebrate their school and have fun doing it. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Associate Director of Student Activities Alese Chandler believes that Homecoming weekend is a prime opportunity for Liberty University students to show their spirit by participating and competing in the Homecoming Parade, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 15.

“The purpose of the parade is to show school spirit and excitement for the big game,” Chandler said. “School spirit should come from the students and this year, there is certainly an incentive for participation.”

According to the Student Activities website, any student club, academic club, dorm group, brother and sister dorm, student leadership team, club sports team, athletic team and faculty group can register to join the parade. However, only student groups are allowed to register to compete in the parade by designing a float that demonstrates creativity and school spirit.

“The float will be judged on four main points: best decorated, most creative, school spirited and most interactive,” Chandler said.

Liberty University faculty and staff will judge the competition and first, second and third place prizes will be awarded to the three best floats in the parade. Cash prizes of up to $500 will be up for grabs, according to Chandler.

While the cash prizes alone are a wonderful incentive for students to join in the fun of the Homecoming Parade, there are other reasons why students might want to be involved with this event.

“Coming together with a group from the dorm or from a club to build and design a float is a great way to create a memory and just have a fun time,” Chandler said. “The cash prizes are certainly an incentive, but students should participate for the sake of school spirit.”

Students do not have to register with a group in order to participate in the parade, as individual student participation is encouraged as well. Students who wish to walk in the parade can display school spirit by carrying signs, throwing candy and dressing up in school colors as suggested on the Student Activities website.

In addition to the parade, a bonfire and Half Marathon and 5K Trail race will also be held during Homecoming weekend for students to enjoy.

“The bonfire tends to be one of the students’ favorite activities during Homecoming weekend and we are expecting about 1,000 students to attend,” Chandler said.

The bonfire, complete with hot drinks and s’mores, will take place at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 14 in anticipation of the Homecoming football game the next day.

For students who like a challenge, Associate Director of Student Activities Josh Yeoman believes that the Deep Hollow Half Marathon and 5K Trail race is a “must do.” The Half Marathon and 5K Trail race will take place at 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 15.

Whether students compete in the parade, relax at the bonfire or accept the challenge of a Half Marathon and 5K Trail race, there will be plenty of opportunities to show school spirit during Homecoming weekend.

“Student Activities seeks to create community through shared experiences,” Yeoman said. “Sometimes these shared experiences are life changing for individuals.”

For more information and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit the Student Activities home page on liberty.edu.

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