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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Homecoming goes virtual the first week of November

Article Originally Published by Will Tarpley on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Will Tarpley on North Texas Daily

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the university will host this year’s Las Vegas-themed Homecoming virtually from Nov. 2 through 7 with contests, games and digital bonfire activities.

Despite going online, Visions of Vegas Coordinator Frankie Fregoso said attendees can still expect the usual trappings of a homecoming to be present.

“There’s going to be opportunities for students to participate in contests where they can submit different things in different categories,” Fregoso said. “There’s going to be opportunities for students to pick up Homecoming merch in-person and the usual goodies we give away.”

Planning began last spring semester when quarantine went into effect. Though Fregoso said he had hoped an in-person homecoming would be possible with a potential return to normalcy by fall 2020. However, this did not happen.

“We have unfortunately been limited by the pandemic in terms of what we’ve been able to plan,” Fregoso said. “So, initially we began planning for an in-person homecoming, but as we got closer to the date, we realized that was no longer feasible. Then, we got word from the university higher-ups that we had to do a completely virtual homecoming.”

Coordinator for Campus-Wide Events Andrea Jackson said there is one costume contest where students can dress up to represent a casino on the Las Vegas Strip and another where students can choose any celebrity to impersonate.

There will be a Tik Tok tournament, where students dance to the song “Franchise” by Travis Scott, the “Scrappy Games,” where students will play Trivia or participate in a “Treasure Hunt” of common household items, and digital bonfire activities, where students can create bonfire etchings, s’mores and tell ghost stories or play games like Pictionary or Bingo.

Natalie Ochoa, the outreach coordinator, said the Las Vegas theme was decided on around the beginning of summer this year.

“We were given an opportunity to have a handful of themes to choose from,” Ochoa said. “It was completely random. Everyone just picked what they wanted to do. It was a group effort.”

Due to some delays in planning and approval on releasing information to the public, Ochoa said there were some challenges in reminding students homecoming was still happening, with the Homecoming Twitter officially announcing the theme and dates on Oct. 1.

“At that point, it was just trying to make people interact and increasing the detail on our page,” Ochoa said. “We’ve just been trying to wrangle the crowd back in, so we can attempt to go through things as normal, even though it’s not going to be.”

More information can be found on the Homecoming page at the Division of Student Affairs’ website.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

Source: North Texas Daily

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