From the theme of homecoming down to the prizes that are handed out during the week, three Western Michigan University students planned this year’s homecoming week.
This year’s homecoming coordinators, Sydnie Coleman, a public relations and non-profit leadership major, Hailey Mangrum, a communications and sociology major and Mirele Aragao, an economics and statistics major, have been working since the end of the spring semester to bring WMU’s Homecoming week to life.
“We started planning at the end of spring semester,” Mangrum said. “It gets busier and busier as we lead up to the final week.”
Coleman added that planning homecoming is a fun type of crazy.
When it came to spreading the word of homecoming, the coordinators utilized social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the homecoming 2013 website.
On the homecoming Facebook page, people can sign up for events and enter random contests. Mangrum said social media is a way to remind the students of WMU about homecoming and “to get them excited.”
According to Coleman, the homecoming Facebook page gets a lot more activity than the Twitter account, but the homecoming coordinators provide opportunities for points toward the Spirit Cup through Twitter.
During the homecoming Western Wednesday on Oct. 9, teams can earn points toward the Spirit Cup by taking a picture and posting it on Twitter or Instagram, according to Aragao.
Along with social media, the homecoming coordinators also held weekly meetings, according to Mangrum. The team also attended two meetings with the university wide homecoming committee. This committeethat looks at ways to improve homecoming included: alumni, athletics, VP Miller and the director of hospitality communications for hotels in the Kalamazoo area.
Although homecoming is largely an event for students on campus, planning the event came with help from the Kalamazoo community.
One Kalamazoo organization that the coordinators reached out to was Loaves and Fishes. Coleman said that the homecoming coordinators reached out to Loaves and Fishes to work with them in a canned goods drive.
“It’s our philanthropy project,” Mangrum said.
At the kickoff of homecoming, the team will be asking students to bring in canned goods for the needy. Loaves and Fishes will be picking up canned goods at the beginning of homecoming week. In return, the students will get a ticket for free food that will be given out at the carnival, which is taking place Oct. 7 at Goldsworth Valley Ponds.
In order to ensure homecoming runs smoothly, at least 50 people will be staffed throughout the week to help out with the events, according to Coleman.
“The volunteers work the events, whereas we planned them,” Aragao said.
Leading up to the end of homecoming planning, Aragao said that the best part was “seeing our ideas come together because we started with a clean slate.”
“We have a passion for Western; that’s what comes with the job,” Mangrum said.
Homecoming events begin on Oct. 7. For a full list of homecoming events visit the WMU Homecoming 2013 website.