After declining interest, student performances to replace Homecoming Parade


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

A parade will not be part of Homecoming festivities for the second year. President of Northwestern Alumni Association Samir Mayekar said he noticed a declining interest in the parade.

Danielle Spitz, Reporter

In an attempt to revitalize homecoming traditions, Wildcat Warm-Up will replace the Homecoming Parade instead featuring various performance groups at a Friday evening event.

President of Northwestern Alumni Association Samir Mayekar (Weinberg ’06, Kellogg ’13) said he noticed a declining interest in the parade. The new event will showcase student talent and will occur right before the pep rally on Friday, Mayekar said. This is the second year in a row that the parade has not taken place after it was canceled last year due to construction on Sheridan Road.

“Because of the construction, we had to take a hiatus from the parade, and what that sparked was assessing the parade itself as part of Homecoming,” Mayekar said. “Like with most traditions you kind of have to always make sure you’re examining them and continually refreshing them.”

He said if Wildcat Warm-Up is a success and receives positive feedback, this change could become permanent in years to come.

Alumna Amy Long (Weinberg ’93) said she never made it a point to attend the Homecoming Parade as a student even when it was on the schedule.

“When I was in school, we were so bad at sports that it wasn’t even something we really went to,” Long said. “But it also seems like they’re doing so much to rev-up school spirit especially around sports, so it seems like a missed opportunity.”

Long said she’s most looking forward to going to her class party Friday night and the football game the following day.

Other Homecoming events for alumni include a Ryan Fieldhouse open house on Friday and the Alumni Rally before Saturday’s game.

Like Long, Sarah Morganstern (Communication ’93) said she’s far more interested in spending time with her classmates than attending the University’s planned events. Morganstern said she tries to come back to campus every five years with a group of friends.

“The parade is loud, and you don’t really get an opportunity to socialize with people,” she said. “It doesn’t really facilitate catching up with friends.”

While Homecoming events may not have sparked alumni interest in the past, Mayekar said he is hopeful that this year’s changes will be well-received. Although the parade being canceled last year was not intentional, he said it opened the door for dialogue on how to modernize the tradition.

“The University has a pretty deep commitment to Homecoming and making sure it’s a positive event for everyone involved,” Mayekar said. “So whatever we can do to make sure that we’re welcoming everyone back to campus and the students and alumni feel like they’re being celebrated is a positive thing.”

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