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The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

What goes into making Homecoming happen?

Chris Soileau
Meet the University Programing Council’s staff. The faces behind Homecoming week’s event planning.

Almost all colleges throughout the fall semester plan to celebrate Homecoming, a tradition to welcome back alumni to celebrate their organizations’ existence. At Northwestern State University of Louisiana, preparations for Homecoming have been underway since the beginning of the semester. No one could have predicted the cancellation of this year’s Homecoming football game. Even so, the student organization that makes Homecoming happen is forging ahead and adapting to the new version of celebrating Homecoming without a football game.

NSU’s University Programming Council (UPC) is the creating events for students including, Lip Sync, Homecoming parade and competitions. The theme this year is “Haunted Homecoming.”

Briannah Stransberry, junior social work major, is the team manager. Her job includes overseeing all logistics and event planning regarding Homecoming.

“The process begins pretty early, and planning is still going on as we speak. Our theme was determined at the end of last semester. However, actual planning began at the very beginning of this semester,” Stransberry said.

For UPC the process of planning Homecoming week involves brainstorming and envisioning what they want the events to look like.

“Planning a weeklong event is surely a process. We put together a Homecoming packet that is presented to RSO’s by our advisor. After that, we can get down to the nitty gritty,” Stransberry said. “After we decide what activities we want for our students, we begin reaching out and negotiating with vendors.”

UPC also works heavily with vendors to negotiate what they will be able to provide for the events and check their schedules to see if they can fit into the Homecoming week schedules.

Hailee Hroch, senior criminal justice major, is the membership supervisor and works alongside Briannah Stransberry to make sure that the vendors are all set up and prepared for the week.

“I oversee the Fall Team and their events. My job includes keeping track of minutes and running the meetings with our council. I also work with a multitude of vendors for events along with so much more,” Hroch said.

The UPC staff are all involved in some way, shape or form to help make sure that Homecoming is in the best shape for everyone on campus to enjoy.

Christian James, junior communication major, expressed that when it comes to putting together an event as big as Homecoming, UPC attends the national conference Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA).

“We attend the national conferences called APCA and that’s where we get all of our vendors, all of our speakers, singers novelties for events. We start thinking about this stuff ahead of time so we can make it the best possible for our students,” James said.

While the organization does the planning and execution of Homecoming, they leave the decision of the Homecoming theme to the student body.

“The theme itself is usually picked by the students. We run a poll, and it is voted on and that’s how we get the theme. This year, Homecoming happened to fall upon Halloween, and it was a perfect idea,” Hroch said.

After spending a semester planning and visualizing Homecoming, UPC looks forward to students’ reactions, even without the traditional football game.

“My favorite part about this process is seeing everything come to life. Going from complicated logistics to seeing the students interacting and enjoying our events in real time is always a rewarding feeling. It makes all the stress feel worth it in the end,” Stransberry said.

UPC puts together events for the student body to attend throughout the school year. The execution of these events is not easy, James said.

“I just want students to know that we work very hard to make these events good for them. If there’s something that they don’t like they need to tell us, because we are trying to plan these events for them,” James said. “It makes it so much easier if they give input on what they didn’t like, or what they did like so that we can continue to produce grade A events for them.”

UPC members are excited to share their hard work with all staff and students. Homecoming week events do not happen overnight; the events take months worth of planning for all students to enjoy, even if it’s not the norm.

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Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas, Current Sauce - Copy Editor
Kevin Thomas is a senior communication major. This is his third year on The Current Sauce staff and first and final semester working as Copy Editor. He hopes to continue his journey of writing as he hopes to fulfill his dreams of writing for magazines after graduation. He cannot wait for what this semester has in store and what’s next.

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