Homecoming 2013 looks to bring Northwestern back to ’90s

Joseph Diebold, Web Editor

Northwestern alumni returning this fall for Homecoming will have to take things “Step by Step.”

The theme of Homecoming 2013 will be “NU ‘Cats on the block,” the organization announced tonight. Homecoming co-chair Kate Geraghty said the organization’s executive board hopes the throwback to the 1990s, a play on the popular band New Kids on the Block, will appeal to both young alumni and current students who grew up in the heyday of boy bands and Nickelodeon.

“We were paring down and we were looking at what we could do with the themes that we had and ‘NU ‘Cats on the block’ just seemed like such a fun thing,” the Weinberg junior said. “We were all born in the ‘90s. Everyone’s obsessed with it, so we’re really excited. One of the great things is that we really think that especially younger alumni, alumni who were here in the ‘90s or were teenagers in the ‘90s, they’re really going to appreciate it.”

Homecoming is partnering with NU Nights for a kickoff karaoke event Friday. The first hour will be music from the decade, Geraghty said.

The organization also announced the 12-student Homecoming Court. After Homecoming received about 70 nominations, this will be the second straight year that the court consists of 12 students. The organization raised the number last year due to an increase in applications. Geraghty said even narrowing the selection down to 12 was a challenge.

“We look for diversity in schools and in activities, in what people represent and what they’re really involved in,” Geraghty said. “What I think is great about this court is it was so hard to pick because there were so many people in so many different groups on campus. We just felt like we couldn’t have cut down any more people.”

The six candidates for Homecoming King are Weinberg juniors Alex Matelski, Demetri Elias, Will Ritter and Gaurav Kikani, McCormick junior Tim Smith and Communication junior Ryan Bernsten. The candidates for Homecoming Queen are Weinberg juniors Katie Funderburg, Roopali Kulkarni and Tori Zuzelo, along with SESP junior Kiley Naas, Communication junior Isa Pasbakhsh and McCormick junior Savannah Enders.

The candidates will compete throughout Homecoming Week, which begins Sept. 28. The winners will be announced at Ryan Field during the Oct. 5 football game against Ohio State.

— Joseph Diebold