Homecoming week, parade, game attract students (Video inside)

Kate Bernot

Coaxing Northwestern students out of the library the weekend before midterms is no easy feat. This Friday and Saturday, a bowl-eligible football team and relatively warm weather provided motivation to escape Core Collection and attend Homecoming activities.

“It helps that we’re 6-1 right now,” said Music junior David Saad, one of Northwestern University Marching Band’s drum majors.

“In that sense, the fact that we’re bowl eligible and we’re just over halfway through the season is pretty incredible,” he said. “I think the fans and the school in general know that this is a really awesome thing. It’s kind of infectious.”

Such infectiousness was part of a weeklong effort by student groups and the Homecoming Committee.

Activities leading up to Saturday’s football game included a performance by improv comedy group Second City, a late-night dinner at Clarke’s and the Friday night parade.

NUMB has also been visiting dorms across campus for the past two weeks in an effort to excite students, especially freshmen, for the homecoming game.

Morale is noticeably higher this year, said Homecoming Committee co-chair Ricardo Creighton.

“Given the fact that homecoming falls so early, some of the freshmen haven’t quite gotten apathetic yet. The team is also winning, and this all helps school spirit,” said the Weinberg junior.

This year’s parade was led by Grand Marshal Matt Grevers, Communication ’07, an Olympic swimmer who took both gold and silver medals in Beijing this summer.

Floats, which included an illuminated vision of Candyland and a Tokyo being ravaged by Godzilla, were decorated by fraternities, sororities, dorms and student groups to reflect the theme “Where in the World is Willie the Wildcat?”.

“We thought the theme went really well given the Olympics and Matt Grevers, and we thought people could have fun with it,” said Creighton.

Fire trucks, the football team, cheerleaders and three marching bands joined the decorated floats during the parade down Sheridan Road. University President Henry Bienen also participated.

Though many student groups marched, there was underwhelming student attendance at the parade.

“It was a little disconcerting to see how few people actually came out for the parade. We really appreciated all the people who did, but there wasn’t a huge, boisterous crowd,” Saad said.

Evanston residents, visiting alumni and candy-seeking children joined students on the western edge of campus for the parade. Some were there to remember their days at NU, others just came for the entertainment.

“The parade seemed a little shorter this year, but otherwise it was great,” said Sang-yul Lee, WCAS ’90. “I’m an alum, but also my daughter likes to see the floats and the bands. Most importantly, she likes to get the candy.”

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