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Old photos from Ohio University’s past adorn the columns on the forth floor of Baker University Center. The university announced ‘bricks’ will be the theme of the homecoming festivities next academic year. 

Different organizations to host variety of events for Homecoming week

Last year, Taylor Oriti said she had the opportunity to see Bobcats, old and new, loving being Bobcats.

“Having the alumni come back and seeing their pride for Ohio University is really cool,” Oriti, a sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders, said.

Homecoming has begun and students on campus will have several opportunities to celebrate with current students and alumni throughout the week.

The theme is “Same Bricks, Different Stories” and organizations, like Student Alumni Board, want to bring together students and alumni to celebrate the event, Kendra Lutes, president of SAB, said.

One event that will be going on all week will be “Pack the Pantry,” a food drive held by Student Alumni Board that Lutes said will give students a chance to give back to the Athens community.

“They can bring in either monetary donations or canned food donations," Lutes said. "We accept anything, and all of the proceeds are going to go to the Athens County Food Pantry."

There will be a raffle, giving every student that donates a chance to be entered into a drawing. There will also be a monetary prize for the organizations that donate the most, encouraging them to participate.  

University Program Council will be hosting a pre-pep rally in collaboration with the “Yell Like Hell” rally. There will be food, music, games and other activities for students to take part in, according to Hannah Hershfield, the public relations executive of UPC.

SAB will also be hosting the “Yell like Hell” pep rally Thursday that will give students a chance to watch fellow students perform and get excited before the weekend.

“We have a ton of campus partners for the actual pep rally,” Lutes said. “The dance team will be there. We have football players, the Marching 110, Section Eight … There’s a really wide range of performers.”

For Dawn Werry, the director of external relations for the Alumni Association, the pep rally is a “good kickoff” to the weekend.

“I think the other events throughout the week are important to the community … but I think the pep rally is a good way to start the week off with that excitement and energy that we all feel when Homecoming Weekend starts,” Werry said.

The Alumni Association will be hosting several events throughout the weekend to get students involved with the alumni and to celebrate OU pride. One event is “Paint the Town Green” where, Werry said, businesses get involved by decorating their offices and storefronts with green and white.

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“I encourage everyone to check out the archives display,” Werry said. “It’s really great to watch the alumni look at pictures and take a trip down memory lane.”

The LGBT Center is coordinating events to celebrate not only Homecoming, but National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11. There will be a rally Friday to share stories and celebrate “coming out” and whatever that particularly means for them, delfin bautista, director of the LGBT Center, said.

“Whether they are coming out as an LGBT person or out as an ally, they could be coming out for the first time or for the 100th time,” bautista, who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase usage of their name, said. “Whatever it is that they want to share really building on things like different stories.”

Following the rally, there will be a luncheon in which an LGBT alumni will share his personal stories about being LGBT in the ‘70s on Ohio University’s campus.

In the past, bautista said the Campus Involvement Center has played “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross and had a display of rainbow lights on the fourth floor rotunda.

Student Senate will be hosting an Alumni Homecoming event where students and alumni will come together to talk and network prior to the football game, Gabby Bacha, president of Student Senate, said.

Several different student organizations and colleges will be hosting tailgate events prior to the football game on Saturday. Also, throughout the week the Alumni Association will be holding a “Say it in 6 Words” Instagram contest. A photo each day will be chosen to be shared on the Ohio Alumni page and will be entered into a contest, Werry said.

Mary Quaboh, a freshman studying bio pre-med, said although it’s her first homecoming she’s excited to be able to spend time with her friends and experience the weekend.

Phil Zhang, a senior studying occupational hygiene and safety, said he enjoyed going to the parade last year. "The atmosphere and energy associated with Homecoming makes it exciting," he added.

“It was a tremendous amount of fun,” he said.

Elizabeth Backo contributed to this report.

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