As homecoming week’s events came to a close Saturday evening at the basketball game, the committee’s goal of more student involvement and transforming the events seemed to have been met.
Homecoming Chairman Chris Ruth found the changes to the event schedule to be very successful, “a few events better than expected,” he said.
In comparison to other years, participation and involvement increased greatly this year, according to Ruth, but he thinks the week still has room for improvement. Ruth attributes the low participation count to the time of year NKU homecoming takes place.
Without a football team, the committee is forced to move homecoming week to basketball season. “When it’s five degrees outside, no one is going to want to come to an event,” Ruth said. But he believes after this year’s success, homecoming will continue to grow greater in importance in the future.
Homecoming week often does not appeal to students not involved in student and Greek life because the week’s events are focused on student organizations and competing as a team.
Athletics also play a big part in homecoming, with the whole week leading up to the homecoming basketball game, but many students are “apathetic towards NKU athletics,” Ruth said, which affects the participation numbers.
Ruth said he believes homecoming participation will continue to fall short until the student body as a whole starts to care more about the university. This year, Ruth saw changes that he thinks have set the tone to usher in a new appreciation for homecoming week.
“It was a good step towards just celebrating homecoming, kind of eliminating the competition aspect and just celebrating our NKU pride,” Ruth said.
The Nearly Naked Mile, the new kickoff event, exceeded expectations when about 200 people showed up and 100 of them participated in the run. The event also brought in $500 that will go to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
Another big event was the talent show Jan. 24. Ruth said Comedian Michael Palasack, who has appreared on Comedy Central, was “a pretty funny guy” even though he reused some of his joke from past shows.
Ruth said other new events had good turnout as well. Step Afrika!, sponsored by African American Student Affairs, filled Greaves Hall Jan. 25, Ruth said.
Story by Claire Higgins