Gurney: Homecoming unites people


by Sam Dearden

Storm football plays Cornell College Oct. 8, but the game is not the only thing happening during homecoming week.

This year’s homecoming theme is entitled “Superheroes.” Several campus organizations, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), are working together to offer many activities for students to get involved in.

“Homecoming unites people,” Senior PRSSA member Jessica Gurney said. “It’s a great opportunity for alumni and current students to participate and work together with the different groups on campus. Each one brings something different to the table and makes for an exciting event.”

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is one group that plays a large role in homecoming activities.

“CAB provides funding for the homecoming events,” Assistant Dean of Students Rich Ramos said. “We put into it what needs to be done and there’s a pretty consistent cost from year-to-year.”

One of the popular events at Simpson is the annual Yell Like Hell competition. This includes different groups around campus who get together to make up a coordinated dance/cheer to show support against the rival football team.

“The best part about homecoming for me would be Yell Like Hell, it’s amazing to see how much it’s grown.” Ramos said. “Anyone who knows me knows I like loud things and we try to make things bigger, better, louder and more obnoxious.”

The competition started 31 years ago as a pep rally with chants and cheers getting the audience pumped up for the game the next day. There is the coronation and crowning of the king and queen as well. In the past three decades, the tradition has grown to the point that a new location was needed.

“We held Yell Like Hell in Hopper (Gymnasium) and there were too many people in that small space,” Ramos said. “We moved it to Cowles Field House last year and decked it out with a concert sound system and lights. The response was pretty positive. The number grew from 700 to 1,200 people attending. I’m not going to complain.”

Many past and present students have enjoyed this event, and recently it has gained even more attention.

“Yell Like Hell received the honor of the best campus tradition for a school under 10,000 students by the National Association for Campus Activities.” Ramos said. “We won $1,000 and that’s a great honor for our school to have.”

CAB is not the only group helping with homecoming, however.

“We’re (PRSSA) hosting a bags tournament for the tailgate, in McNeill parking lot. Everyone is welcome to come and we want to get plenty of students there,” Gurney said. “There will be a grand prize and creative team names will make things more exciting.”

Besides a bags tournament, PRSSA is also in charge of another homecoming tradition.

“PRSSA (designs) the official homecoming t-shirts, and hopefully this year we’re able to get a student to design them,” senior Rachel Smith said.

PRSSA wanted t-shirts with an original design, not something that’s been overused.

“We knew we didn’t want the plain Superman symbol and were looking for something more creative,” Gurney said. “We’ve talked to a couple art majors and we’re working together (with them) to make our ideas come to life.”

The group wants as many people to purchase t-shirts as possible to represent Simpson and cheer on the Storm.

“My personal goal is to get everyone to buy a homecoming t-shirt and to have students fill the stands at the football game wearing them to show their school pride,” Gurney said.