ABOVE: The homecoming court lines up for a photo after the coronation on Saturday. The king and queen were David Matthews, biology senior, and Asiah Greene, sport management senior. (Cale Eirich/Staff photographer)
By Tessa Castor
Much like other campuses, SC’s homecoming is packed with activities and excitement. This year, Southwestern’s homecoming was particularly busy, taking place over the course of only four days. Despite this, many of the traditions students look forward to continued into the 2018 homecoming festivities, getting students and faculty alike involved.
“Homecoming week is a big part of the culture at SC,” said Anjaih Clemons, director of campus life. “There’s so many traditions, old and new, embedded into the week, and this year was no different.”
Homecoming festivities kicked off at the end of fall break last Tuesday with the annual homecoming service project. The event, set up by the service learning team, featured a guest speaker from SoCe Life, a nonprofit in the south central neighborhood of Wichita. The project was a neighboring event, intended to bring together SC students.
“I think that Neighbor Night was a great way for the entire student body to practice their emotional intelligence with each other,” said Ashleigh Hollis, graduate student. “Students were able to bond and make good connections which helped our student body continue to keep the Builder family strong.”
After the guest speaker, students broke into small groups around Christy Hall to play icebreaker games. The groups then posted photos on Instagram with the hashtag #SCNeighborNight, came together to sing the song “Lean on Me” and gathered in the south Christy parking lot for dinner, provided by Boss Hogs BBQ and College Hill Coffee.
“Neighbor Night was a fun success for our eighth annual homecoming service project,” said Brae Wood, director of Leadership Southwestern. “Pushing students to broaden their idea of service was a challenge but well worth it with the end result of 370 students working to build community and get to know their neighbors. The event was a service to ourselves, but the goal was to get at some real challenges on college campuses of isolation and loneliness.”
The next day was the Lunar Lip-Sync Battle, won by the football team. Thursday’s events included the Deep Space Spelling Bee, Crater Cupcake Wars and Kick Asteroids Kickball.
On Friday, the volleyball team took on Kansas Wesleyan University, losing all three sets and bringing their season record to 18-10.
“It was so awesome to have so many fans at our match against KWU on Friday,” said Catabrean Baumann, senior setter. “We could really feel the love and support. I am proud of the progress our team has made from last year to now, but we have lots of work to do still.”
The music department also held their annual Kaleidoscope Concert at 7:30 p.m., its finale leading to the bonfire, photographed above. The bonfire included a guest speaker, an introduction of homecoming candidates and a performance by Nicc Matthews, accounting junior.
“Being able to not only participate in, but lead and help set the mood for the bonfire that’s been anticipated for the past year was such an awesome experience,” said Laura Podschun, religion and philosophy junior. As an executive of Student Foundation, Podschun assisted in the lighting of this year’s bonfire.
Marissa Evans, middle-level math education junior, also helped light the bonfire. Evans said, “It was great to actually be able to have a bonfire this year. Getting to see alumni and current students come together was really cool. You could really see the love and support that Builder Nation has for one another during Nicc’s performance.”
Saturday’s events kicked off with the Planetary Parade at 9 a.m. on Winfield’s iconic Main Street. This event gave organizations and sports the opportunity to show their artistic skills in float-building.
“The thing I enjoyed most was getting to announce the homecoming court and try to be entertaining – I need lessons,” said Justin Williams, Wallingford resident director. Williams announced the parade. “Many of those students I see as my kids or my little brother or sister. I’ve been able to watch and in many ways help them grow as young women and men. It’s amazing how fast three or four years can fly, but it does at light-speed.”
The parade’s conclusion gave students a few hours of rest before the football game against Bethel College.
The Builder football game against Bethel ended with an SC victory of 45-14, bringing them to a 6-2 overall record for the season.
“I believe we as a team are making history at SC,” said Arthur Anderson, sophomore defensive lineman.
At the game’s halftime, the Homecoming Royalty Coronation took place. David Matthews, biology senior, and Asaih Greene, sports management senior, won king and queen.
“Homecoming has been the best it’s ever been,” said Tanner Schartz, theatre junior. “Not just being on the court, but seeing more Builders come together to create, support each other and show school spirit day after day. The Jinx was most definitely on this week.”
This year’s homecoming activities concluded with the women’s and men’s soccer games against Tabor and the Eternal Quest Game Show. The women’s soccer team beat Tabor 5-2, and the men’s soccer team lost 0-3.
“We scored two goals within the first four minutes of the game and it was 5-0 by halftime,” said Joe Wood, head women’s soccer coach. “The girls played really well. I hope we can do that against Bethany too.”
With tough competitions and student-led events, many student organizations and sports teams battled to win the 2018 From the Mound to the Moon Homecoming Sweeps, led by Student Foundation. The final standings were Lady Builder basketball in first, softball in second and football in third. The social science department won the faculty window decorating contest, judged on Friday.
“Student Foundation and Student Government ensured the student body was engaged during homecoming week and it was nothing short of amazing,” said Clemons. “From cupcake wars to lip sync battle and a new touch to the bonfire, it was evident that the Builder spirit was alive. I’m extremely proud of our students and their hard work in making homecoming a success.”
Student Foundation will continue with their student activities at 9 p.m. on October 24 at Cowley Cinema 8 for Free Movie Night. Students must bring their ID to be admitted and are invited to wear costumes as photos will be taken.
Tessa Castor is a junior majoring in English. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.