(Buffalo, N.Y.) – SUNY Buffalo State painted the town orange and black during the recent homecoming and family weekend, which was held Sept. 19-24.
There were events scheduled every day that students, alumni and staff were encouraged to participate in.
This year’s theme, “many Bengals, one roar,” was selected to promote pride for Buffalo State and the many things it has to offer.
“We wanted something that was focused on Buffalo State but also showed our pride and spirit, and I think that that phrase does,” said Sarah Young, director of Student Life and chair of the homecoming committee.
The homecoming planning committee, composed of representatives from United Student Government, Student Life, New Student and Family Programs, Alumni Affairs, Residence Life and the Inter-Greek Association, worked together to plan a wide range of events that would appeal to the entire Buffalo State community.
While keeping traditional events; such as USG’s homecoming carnival, the king and queen competition and the lip sync battle; a number of events were added to cater specifically to families and alumni.
“There are family events that take place this year. So we have ‘Bengals and bagels’ this year, which is something that’s brand new. It’s a chance to meet with family members at breakfast time for a bagel breakfast on Saturday morning,” said committee member Daniel Heims, assistant director of New Student and Family Programs.
Alumni from the Music Department performed a concert Sept. 20 and alumnus Dr. David Dror hosted a talk Sept. 22. Both events took place in the Ciminelli Concert Hall.
The committee also implemented a multitude of changes in the hopes of sparking excitement within the student body.
USG representatives said they hope these changes will entice returning students, who may be expecting to see the same schedule as previous years.
Limited student turnout to past events has given students mixed signals about whether or not homecoming is worth participating in, according to USG President Terron Grant. He said he hopes that promoting this year’s changes will prevent freshmen and new students from adopting a lack of enthusiasm for homecoming that upperclassmen tend to have.
The homecoming parade, which traveled around the city before returning to campus, was moved from Saturday (Sept. 24) morning to Friday (Sept. 23) afternoon to encourage more students to attend.
New events such as “Please Excuse My Self Expression,” which is in collaboration with the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and “Paint Night” in collaboration with the Visual Arts Board were also added to highlight student organizational involvement in the week.
Student voices have been added to the planning process behind the scenes as well.
“Making sure that students were involved in the planning helps us get students engaged,” Young said. “We had four students who sat on the committee in the planning of homecoming events this year, so I think that will help students be more knowledgeable about the events and get excited to come out.”
For Young, seeing this excitement come to life is the best part of homecoming.
“Just seeing students engaged and having fun, wearing a lot of orange and cheering on football and soccer; just having a full week of events where it’s just about being proud of being a member of the Buffalo State campus,” said Young.
For more information, visit the Buffalo State homecoming site.