Editorial — The joys of homecoming week


HOMECOMING — NMU celebrates homecoming with their theme “Create NMU”, a way to show off the more creative side of the university’s students. The Sidewalk Chalk Competition is a way for students to show off their hands-on creativity during this annual celebration.

North Wind Editorial Board

This week, NMU celebrates homecoming, or what the North Wind likes to call “Fourth of July 2:” an excessive week full of festivities, games and social gatherings that we continue to celebrate yearly without fail. 

From a conventional standpoint, homecoming is the national and long-established tradition of welcoming people back to an institution, oftentimes a school or university, and commemorating the accomplishments of those directly involved in its function.

Seen as a memory-making opportunity, homecoming events also encourage members of the community to show school spirit, meet new people and get involved in ritual-like activities that appear year after year.

To us, however, homecoming feels like an excuse to participate in fun activities that you could (and should) be doing any other week of the year. 

Many of the scheduled activities are reminiscent of a high school homecoming. Each day of the week has a designated theme for students to match with their clothing, with Friday being NMU spirit day. The annual homecoming parade will march from the Berry Events Center to Third Street, with campus organizations displaying their hand-crafted floats for spectators to enjoy before returning to the Superior Dome on Front Street. 

To be frank, the week puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the students who are actively involved in planning and coordinating the numerous events. Granted, many have voluntarily taken on the role, but it is unfortunate that the success of the activities depends on active participation from students and members of the campus community. 

In what we describe as “organized chaos,” NMU Homecoming’s theme of “Create NMU” is just vague enough that there may be some central element tying all of the floats together. This lack of description is not necessarily a bad thing, allowing student organizations to stand out from others through their unique interpretation of the theme.

Similarly, the chalk drawing competition will spur impressive and diverse imagery that can be enjoyed throughout the week as we walk through the academic mall.

The more hands-on activities seem to attract more student involvement. For instance, the Dead River Games, which were held at Clark Lambros Beach Park last Sunday, invite teams to compete in a series of small competitions. From an ice cream drop to an obstacle course, competitors turned out in droves to compete and, most importantly, have fun at this kickoff event.

All in all, homecoming week allows students to express themselves in a communal fashion. The wide variety of activities has proven itself to be a great creative outlet for students.

While many students take no interest in the annual event, some even actively ignoring it, homecoming continues to prove itself as a successful staple to the college experience. If it were not, we would not see its return every year. 

If this is your first year at NMU, homecoming is a great way to connect with the university. Not only does it help you to build a sense of pride for the institution you will be spending the next several years indebted to, but it also encourages you to meet people who you may have never crossed paths with otherwise.

Try your best to embrace the fun, placing any responsibilities on the back burner for an hour or two throughout the week. 

Upperclassmen, especially seniors, should try and get involved as well. If this is your last year at NMU and you have never participated in a homecoming activity, what are you waiting for? As we see it, you will likely never have a college experience like this again, so you might as well make the most of it.

Your capstone projects, portfolios and resumes will not miss you while you are away celebrating — and homecoming is a great excuse to take a break anyways.


Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This is an editorial, written by the North Wind Editorial Board in its entirety. It reflects the majority views of the individuals who make up the editorial staff of the North Wind. It is the policy of the Editorial Board not to endorse candidates for any political office, in order to avoid aligning this public forum with particular political organizations.