By: Kerry Ingram, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Featured photo by Kerry Ingram; photo illustration by Jordan Stephenson.
Towson University kicked off its annual Homecoming week celebrations on Oct. 22 with a gathering of the 2017 Homecoming Court Sunday afternoon. The eclectic group of eight met at Tiger Plaza, ready for introductions, photo sessions and free pizza.
Individuality and impact were the two key themes discussed amongst the Homecoming Court. Each member expressed what they most looked forward to for the week to come, as well as what they hoped to give back to Towson’s campus.
Wayne Nichols, SGA Chief of Staff and nominee for homecoming king, shared his thoughts on the week being a way to honor all of Towson’s achievements, as well as his own contributions to the campus.
“I’m involved in a lot on campus,” Nichols said. “I think just being able to celebrate being one of those people that your peers have looked up to, but also feeling like you’ve made an impact on campus is exciting.”
Lauren Dell’Arciprete, Towson’s cheer team captain and nominee for homecoming queen, highlighted the yearly homecoming game as the event she looks forward to most.
“We’re playing against Delaware so hopefully it’ll be a good game,” Dell’Arciprete said. “Of course I’ll be down on the sidelines.”
Exercise science major and homecoming king nominee DJ Burke expressed his anticipation for the overall theme for the entire week. Towson’s 2017 homecoming is an ode to a decade that has been trending since its time: the 90s.
“I’m most excited just to see all the 90s gear that comes out,” Burke said. “It’ll just be fun to see everybody’s perceptions on what 90s people would’ve worn.”
The nominees bonded effortlessly on their afternoon at the plaza, showcasing a sense of kinship that could fool anyone to believe they were childhood friends. From their ease in conversation to the abundance of laughter amongst them, the group showed that although they are competitors, there is no tension between them.
Towson junior and homecoming queen nominee La-Chelle Dickenson expressed her love for her fellow court members, while still highlighting what makes her strong competition.
“I think all the competitors are beautiful people,” Dickenson said. “But I guess what makes me stick out is that I’m really here for the people. I want people to know that I’m willing to smile and to talk to anyone on campus, and also just to spend time with Towson’s campus.”
Ethan Williams, an exercise science major and homecoming king nominee, shared that the trait which makes him unique from his peers is his timid nature. Despite being more soft-spoken, Williams did not seem intimidated by his fellow court members, especially since he has experience under his belt.
“I’m a little quieter than the rest, I guess,” Williams shared. “But this is my second time through [the homecoming process], so I kind of know what’s going on.”
For other nominees, the general school spirit of homecoming week and its ability to bring the campus community together is what excited them most. Music director for the Towson Trills A Capella group and homecoming king nominee, Leroy Hyson II, shared networking as a positive aspect of the week to come, especially since he’ll be representing Towson.
“I know I’ll definitely be walking around and meeting a bunch of different people,” Hyson said. “That’s going to be super fun.”
Madison Scanlon, a Towson senior and homecoming queen nominee, referred to Towson’s school spirit for the week as a “happy reminder” of her college application process. As someone who attends college out-of-state, she expressed that her ultimate college decision came down to the vibe that Towson had to offer during their TU4U conference for prospective students.
“The whole ‘ra-ra’ spirit of Towson is kind of the reason why I came to Towson,” Scanlon said. “For me, the most exciting part about all of this is that I think homecoming is when everyone really appreciates and shows their tiger spirit.”
Elaina Schilling, who is also a Towson senior and nominated for homecoming queen, agreed that Towson’s spirit was what causes homecoming week to be enjoyable.
“Homecoming is a good unifying time,” Schilling said. “It’s wonderful for the campus, and the Towson community in general, some I’m sure the events will get people pumped and excited, and hopefully last through the semester.”
Towson’s 90s-themed homecoming week is planned to consist of 12 events total, each ranging in level of involvement while encompassing the essence of a good time. Campus-wide decorating occurred on Oct. 22, as preparation for the events to come. The campus also held its annual talent show, “TU’s Got Talent,” at 8 p.m. in Stephen’s Hall Theater on Oct. 23.
Tuesday, Oct. 24’s event is “Doc’s Animal Adventure,” in which a variety of animals will be available to pet and feed in Freedom Square from noon to 2:30 p.m. The event is anticipated to be a way for students to take a break from class stresses while being able to enjoy the presence of furry friends. At 5 p.m. in the Potomac Lounge there will also be a 90s trivia night to test participants’ knowledge of all that is pop culture and fun facts from almost 30 years ago.
Wednesday Oct. 25, is planned to be homecoming week’s busiest day, with four events occurring throughout the day. Starting at noon, there will be the “Totally Tie Dye” event on the Beach, a positive homecoming rally to celebrate Towson and all it has to offer. “Sweatin’ to the 90s Bodyweight Bootcamp” will be held from 2-3 p.m. in Burdick Field, giving students the opportunity to work out and jam to throwback tunes. “Dance the Madness,” an annual Greek life dance competition and “Blockbuster Movie Night” are the two events to occur Wednesday night, each providing Towson students with something worth watching.
“All That and a Bag of Candy,” a candy buffet hosted by the homecoming committee, will be available to students on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 8 p.m. that night, Towson will also be hosting its annual homecoming pageant in West Village Ballrooms.
Friday’s sole event will be the “New Kids on the Block Party,” Towson’s annual block party with a 90s twist. The night will begin at 7 p.m. in West Village and include cornhole and KanJam tournaments, as well as free shirts for the first 400 students to arrive.
The traditional Homecoming Tailgate will happen Oct. 28, from noon to 4:00 p.m. and the final homecoming event will be Towson’s football game, held in Johnny Unitas Stadium at 4 p.m. The Towson’s 2017 Homecoming Royalty will be crowned at halftime.
Towson’s Homecoming Committee proudly announced that they’re “offering students the opportunity to run for Royal, a title for those who do not identify with the cisgender title of King or Queen,” meaning that even if a nominee doesn’t identify as male or female, they won’t be excluded from or mislabeled by the festivities.
Voting happens via Involved@TU, and will open following the pageant. Voting will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27.