“Bring in the dancing lobsters” boomed over the speakers in A.A. Fredericks Auditorium as excitement jolted the crowd. Three male students ran onto the stage and busted a move, resulting in cheers and laughs from the audience.
The Kappa Sigma brothers’ LipSync skit featured an obscure reference to “The Amanda Show” and earned them third place in the fraternity division. If for nothing else, it was for being memorable.
Activities for homecoming seem to be all fun and games, but planning spans several months.
Olivia Guidry, Student Activities Board committee head of homecoming, said planning begun in February. Her committee is responsible for budgeting, attending conferences, selecting a theme and deciding how to incorporate that theme into the week.
Guidry said planning LipSync is the “most stressful part” because so many organizations want to participate.
Homecoming at Northwestern State gives students a chance to break out their craziest socks, outfits and moves through a series of competitions between student organizations and other activities.
Last week’s events included a 5K run, golf tournament, lip-sync battle, parade and pep rally.
Each student organization that participated during the week gathered outside Turpin Stadium gates to see if their group won any of the week’s competitions.
This year’s overall winner was Phi Mu Fraternity.
“It honestly feels good [to win]. The girls put in so much work until late at night,” said Aly Jacobs, Phi Mu president. “They are deserving of that honor.”
Phi Mu won People’s Choice at LipSync with their car-ride skit about the last three decades, and Sigma Sigma Sigma placed first in the competition’s sorority division.
“It’s definitely a lot of work and long nights. But in the end, it is so worth it,” said Jourdan Waddell, Tri Sigma’s choreographer.
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee won in each of their respective LipSync categories while President’s Leadership Program took home the gold in the Homecoming Hunnies category.
Another part of homecoming that involves current students is the Homecoming Honor Court selection. Senior business administration major Dedrick Lewis is appreciative of fellow students who voted him onto the court.
“It’s a great honor because the students pick those who best represent the university,” he said. “Just to have that honor gives me the drive to be successful.”
While competitions during the week hype up current students, homecoming is primarily about welcoming alumni back to campus.
“You can feel the excitement with all of the alumni coming back,” NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio said. “It’s just like a family coming home, and each year it keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Maggio emphasized the “bond” many people feel with NSU, which is likely what motivates alumni to return on special occasions.
“Everyone has a connection with the university,” he said. “When you go around to talk to some of them, it might be a fraternity or sorority. It might be an academic area or a club they were in. There’s a bond, and they come back each year for many years.”
Alumna Kelli Walker’s connection and reason for returning was to celebrate the Scholars’ College’s 30th anniversary.
“It’s exciting to be back at Northwestern,” she said. “It’s great to see old friends and professors.”
Saturday’s football game was paused twice due to lightning nearby, but fans didn’t lose heart.
“The football team is holding tough,” Walker said during the delay. “They are playing a really good football team and the weather is not the best, but they are really giving it their all. It’s great to see.”
No matter how much Demon pride filled the stadium, the football team could not defeat Central Arkansas, falling 45-17.
“We had great emotion early and were ready to play, but it turned on us,” Coach Jay Thomas said. “We had some penalties that hurt us in field position, and we couldn’t get it flipped in a critical third quarter.”