Homecoming hopes to unite Mountain Lions in school spirit

Oct. 5, 2015

April Wefler
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Students looking for a night out or a break from studying for midterms might want to attend Homecoming Week, to be held Oct. 8-10.

Jade Atkinson, junior pre-nursing major, said she has never gone to homecoming.

“I really want to this year. I really, really do. We were just talking about that in one of my classes; they said it was really fun,” Atkinson said.

She didn’t go last year because 2014 was her first year in Colorado and the thought of going to homecoming intimidated her. Now that she’s made more friends, Atkinson said she feels more comfortable going.

Morgan McCadden, senior political science and economics double-major, just transferred here and has never been to a homecoming outside of high school.

“I think I went to the homecoming game at CSU,” she said, adding that she might attend homecoming this year.

“UCCS has homecoming because it is a way to bring the campus, campus partners, alumni, all together to truly celebrate what it a. means to be a Mountain Lion and b. the mountain lion pride and the pride surrounding UCCS,” said Stephen Cucchiara, assistant director of Student Life and Leadership.

Cucchiara said homecoming would be especially large this year due to UCCS’ 50th anniversary.

Homecoming used to be called “Back to the Bluffs,” and focused more on alumni than students. In the past, events have lasted from a day to a week. Now, it’s a three-day weekend of events.

Last year, over 1,000 students attended the homecoming formal and over 600 students attended the bonfire, the largest attendance UCCS has ever had.

“We don’t have homecoming parades, mainly because we don’t have the physical structure at UCCS to have an actual parade,” Cucchiara said.

Instead, UCCS has a student-led march down to the stadium for the soccer games and a pep rally where athletes run through paper banners.

“We have pretty much UCCS’ version of homecoming. We really do have our own unique brand,” Cucchiara said.

Homecoming starts Oct. 8 with the opening of UCCS’ 1988 time capsule by Café 65 at 4 p.m. Then comes the Spirit Rally, held in combination with athletics on El Pomar Plaza at 7:30 p.m.

The night ends with lighting the UCCS letters on the Spine.

“We create a tunnel of lights along the Spine, leading up to the lit letters, so that way if you’re driving over here on Austin Bluffs Parkway, you can see the UCCS letters kind of like a Hollywood sign,” Cucchiara said.

The March starts on Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. at Alpine Field. Women’s soccer plays at 5 p.m. and men’s soccer plays at 7:30 p.m. at Mountain Lion Stadium.

Following is the Homecoming Bonfire, which the chancellor lights.

Cucchiara said the bonfire is his favorite part of Homecoming because “really just see students come together, make s’mores, hang out in a very informal way and stay warm on a cool night.”

Homecoming Week concludes with Formal and Casino Night on Oct. 10 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Gallogly Events Center and Berger Hall. Tickets are $10 for individuals and $15 for couples.

“It’s a time where they can dance the night away, have some fun and really celebrate the university,” Cucchiara said.

All other events are free with student ID.

The Lowdown:

Homecoming Week Events

Oct. 8
Time Capsule Opening, By Café 65, 4 p.m.
Spirit Rally, El Pomar Plaza, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 9
The March, Alpine Field, 3 p.m.
Women’s and Men’s soccer games, Mountain Lion Stadium, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Bonfire, Lot 572, 9 p.m.

Oct 10
Formal and Casino Night, Gallogly Events Center and Berger Hall, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.