Homecoming sub-committees created to reach out to students

The committee is working to involve more non-Greek students this fall.

The MU Homecoming steering committee announced the name of this year's theme as "Tradition Set in Stone," which focuses on tradition and unifying the campus during the Homecoming season.

The committee said it is starting new sub-committees to get the entire student body, including both Greek and non-Greek students, more involved.

"We're trying to increase the attendance of the parade," Homecoming Tri-Director Ben Grosdidier said. "We always have over 20,000 people that attend the parade, and we're also trying to advertise the football game."

The committee created a new subcommittee this year — the Campus Relations Committee, Homecoming Tri-Director Maggie Glenski said. The sub-committee's focus is to reach out to students not in Greek Life and make them aware they can get involved.

"We're going to the residence halls and setting up bulletin boards for them," Glenski said. "We're working more with residence hall coordinators and the government there and getting their help to encourage students (to participate) as well."

The committee announced MU alumnus Russ Mitchell as this year's Homecoming Grand Marshal.

"He will actually show up on the field during half time," Glenski said. "We are trying to incorporate him more because a lot of people don't even know there is a grand marshal."

According to the Missouri Alumni Association website, a Grand Marshal is an MU graduate who oversees the Homecoming parade and the other activities during the event.

The events planned before the Homecoming game include activities, such as the Homecoming 5k Walk/Run, which encourage students to get active and get involved.

Homecoming Tri Director Ben Grosdidier said other activities include the blood drive, a food drive, the naming of the royalty king and queen and a talent night.

"On talent night, there is always in between acts where you can have individual performances like if someone sings or plays an instrument," Homecoming Tri-Director Tony Wirkus said. "We're trying to get the word out more that these (spots) are available because (that portion) doesn't have to be Greek."

Wirkus said the problem with Homecoming was not that students did not want to participate.

"We found that it wasn't that people didn't want to get involved — it's just that they didn't know how to in the past," Wirkus said. "We're just trying to focus more on that to give awareness of how people can participate."

Grosdidier said this year's blood drive would be the 25th annual one.

"So that's been a tradition in itself, and then really just bringing the alumni back and getting the campus involved is the whole point in the tradition," Grosdidier said.

Glenski said the Public Relations Committee is using more social networking tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, to promote student participation and taking advantage of other technology.

"We'll try to do live video this year for the talent show, so those who don't go will still be able to see it," Glenski said.

Homecoming themes are only decided once the new steering committee members are chosen.

"We try not to base the theme off of the team we're playing because Homecoming is really so much more than a football game, and we want people to remember that," Grosdidier said.

The committee hosted a Tiger Tango event at the Columbia Area Senior Center last weekend, according to the Mizzou Homecoming 2010 WordPress website.

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