Homecoming heats up

by Sarah Powell

The Homecoming bonfire was cancelled for the second year in a row due to windy weather, but Homecoming is still packing some heat with the week’s theme being “It’s Getting Hot in Here” based on a song by the rapper Nelly.

The theme was chosen by the Homecoming committee heads, junior Cory George and senior Tonya Throckmorton.

“Cory, Rich [Ramos] and I went to lunch and had 30 minuets to come up with a theme. We choose the ‘It’s Getting Hot in Here’ theme because it’s a kind of popular song and it’s something that people can do a lot of things with,” said Throckmorton.

Homecoming activities began with street painting and election of the Homecoming court. The rest of Homecoming week will include: skit competition, Olympics, Yell Like Hell, the football game and women’s and men’s soccer games.

“The turn out I saw for Yell Like Hell last year was great. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have for this year,” said sophomore Vania Quiroz.

Rich Ramos, assistant dean of students has seen some positive changes since his arrival 12 years ago.

“I think one of the changes I have seen for the better is that the participation on the part of the groups who do participate has for the most part been really, really positive,” said Ramos. “I think that the number of students who do attend the events come because they enjoy the event. But I still encourage everybody to get involved in one way, shape, or form.”

Although Ramos has seen improvements to the programs over the years, he has also seen some negative changes.

“I think one of the changes I have seen for the worse is the participation by independent housing units like Picken, Barker, and Kresge. I know that there has been a real strong push the last couple of years to make sure that those organizations get involved,” said Ramos.

According to Ramos, one of the reasons that participation isn’t as high as expected is involvement in Greek houses. “Part of the reason I think it’s been so tough for those groups is because a lot of students join a Greek organization and Greek organizations have a tendency to pull a lot of folks out who are involved,’ said Ramos.

Efforts to improve participation from residence halls will hopefully come from Hall Councils, according to Ramos. In the meantime, there are rules in place to attempt to keep members of Greek organizations who do not live in Greek houses active in residence halls.

All students are encouraged to participate with their housing units. Freshmen can only participate with their Greek houses if their own housing unit is not entering an event.

Some students see this as a false step in the effort to increase participation because it implies that students not living in Greek houses shouldn’t be as involved in their respective Greek organizations.

“I think it’s a shame that because freshmen don’t live in a Greek house, they can’t participate with their [Greek] house. Just because their not living in the [Greek] house, doesn’t mean their not just as much a part of the organization,” said sophomore Luke Mize.

Ramos and the chairs of each of the events decided on the rules for the week. They looked at the past years and where there may have been previous issues and problems and tried to address each of them.

The group has worked on what qualifies for disqualification.

According to Throckmorton, they know that people are going to make fun of authoritative figures but they don’t want to see specific groups being made fun of or the use of inappropriate language.

“People know to what extent they can go to without getting disqualified,’ said Throckmorton. “I don’t think we’ve really had any problems in the past.”

To cap off the week of activities, students can support the Storm by attending the football game at 1 p.m. against Luther and women’s and men’s soccer games at 6 and 8 p.m. against Dubuque.

Since 1997 the Simpson football team has won four out of five of its Homeooming games.

“We are playing good football right now, but we know that we can improve during practices this week and hopefully we can put the complete game together against Luther,” said senior football player Josh Lullmann.

According to Throckmorton, the success of the events hinges on student participation and attendance.

“I hope there will be a lot of participation in the events and that people who aren’t in events come and support everyone,” said Throckmorton. “I would like to see everyone come together and have fun because that is what homecoming is all about.”