Alumni association encourages greater Homecoming participation

The 5k run was eliminated from the 2010 Homecoming schedule.
Young women of Columbia pet sheep in Greektown on Oct. 23, 2009 as part of Chi Omega and Phi Kappa Theta's house decorations for Homecoming. The annual Homecoming 5K run was cancelled for this year's ceremonies. Maneater File Photo

The 5k run was eliminated from this year’s Homecoming schedule due to conflicts with other similar Columbia events.

“Columbia has a strong running community," said Carrie Bien, Coordinator of Student Programs for the Mizzou Alumni Association. "There was already a 10 k and half marathon scheduled in Columbia for the weekend. Fortunately, the students still have other opportunities to race.”

Bien said she hasn't received any complaints from students.

"It's not really that big of a deal to me, but then again, I'm not a runner," freshman Steven Twidwell said.

While the 5k run is not being replaced with any other specific activity, Bien said there will be many more activities to keep students busy and involved.

“We really focus on the depth and strength of our events, adding another one just for the sake of having one more seemed unnecessary," she said.

A new edition to Homecoming this year is the Service Challenge, which will take place throughout October.

"We encourage Mizzou alumni from all across the nation to go out and do any kind of community service in honor of Homecoming,” Homecoming Tri-Director Ben Grosdidier said. “It will give all of the alumni who can’t make it back to Missouri a chance to participate. We hope people will put on their Mizzou attire and take pictures so we can post them on our website.”

With the implementation of the Campus Relations Committee, the Homecoming Steering Committee is hoping to get involvement from all students, not just those in Greek Life.

"We hope that more students feel empowered to get involved,” Bien said. “The opportunity to participate in Homecoming has always been available; we just haven't necessarily made it clear how students can do so. I think the Campus Relations Committee helps explain to all students the ways they can get involved."

Grosdidier said the committee will be visiting Freshman Interest Groups and residence hall floors with information on how people can participate in Homecoming, including the parade before the football game.

"Any campus organization can march in the parade for free," Grosdidier said. "Anyone can check our website, mizzou.com/homecoming, and learn more on how to get involved."

Some students are still not sure which of the many events they will attend.

"I'm not sure exactly what all I'll be participating in, but I know whatever it is, it will be a blast,” Twidwell said. “Other than the big game, I'm looking forward to all of the alumni coming back into town. I love seeing campus flooded with black and gold.”

Another change to the Homecoming schedule will be the expansion of the blood drive from three to four days.

“Homecoming is all great,” Grosdidier said. “It isn’t just a game. It’s weeks of activities. I love all of it, mostly the weekend with the parade, the game and the announcement of who won royalty.”

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