BY KIYANNA NOEL
Parties, stroll shows and unity are all aspects of a good Homecoming on a college campus. However, at SUNY Plattsburgh this year, Homecoming was lackluster. The on-campus events were geared toward alumni and the off-campus event was just another excuse to get drunk.
As my final semester at Plattsburgh winds down, I was excited for what this Homecoming could bring. From seeing previous alumni to the annual stroll show, Homecoming weekend was the weekend I looked forward to the most. But this year there was no stroll show, there was no big event off-campus and the only time you would run into an alumni is at Retro Live.
Hannah Sudla, a senior majoring in criminal justice, admitted this semester had fewer events besides the ones hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“I remember the Alphas hosting the stroll show and hosting an after-party, but I believe it was then passed over to the Betas. But still, no one even had any events outside of that,” Sudla said. “I know alumni who came up this weekend and felt like it was another day on campus. It felt like another day with no special celebration or emotional connections.”
Homecoming weekend was the time to close that gap between graduates and students who are on their way to crossing that stage.
It is also a time for students to experience the diverse Greek organizations on campus. The annual stroll show helped bring previous chapters back to showcase their different beliefs, techniques and unity. The show was a friendly competition to see which of the fraternities and sororities were the best organizations on campus. That group would receive bragging rights and a cash prize. But this semester, there was no promotion of a competition, there wasn’t even a mention of dormant chapters coming back to campus.
Member of the sorority Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Geraly Pion was excited for this homecoming because it would be her first homecoming representing her line. But, she was left disappointed as the days grew longer and there was no information on the infamous stroll show she longed to take part in.
“There was no Homecoming. Without that stroll show, how could there be?” Pion said.
Some alumni chose not to return to campus for the same reason. ‘23 Plattsburgh Alumnus Nicholas Cousins chose not to return to campus because he saw that the only events on campus were coordinated by administrators.
“I don’t have anything against DEI or anyone in that department, but I thought at least the stroll show would’ve happened or a weekend filled with more student-run events or involvement. Like what else could have been done when you take away the main event?” Cousins said.
While Homecoming weekend was filled with on-campus events by DEI, off-campus events are where everyone can show who they are with their friend groups in a different setting.
But, this semester it was different with one off-campus event leading to an empty weekend. Homecoming has become an event for bigger institutions. The Homecoming at the University at Albany was the place to be this past weekend.
Homecoming used to be the most anticipated event in October besides Halloween, but now the roles are reversed. It’s sad as a senior to see the decline of Greek life and engagement on campus and it secures the fact that most students will not return post-graduation.