Homecoming is here, and on October 13- 14 the ENC campus will be flooded with alumni and families ready to cheer on both men’s and women’s soccer along with the women’s volleyball team.
For the students, homecoming has always been a time to walk around Veterans Memorial Stadium, where the soccer teams play, to the numerous booths and tables that clubs, SGA class councils, and ministries put together to sell items for fundraising and advertisement.
A few weeks ago, Alumni Relations and the Athletics Department began discussing how to host all homecoming events right here on campus. It might seem like a strange concept for current students familiar with a Veteran’s Stadium Street Fair, but after speaking with Rebecca Shaw, Associate Director of Institutional Advancement, she mentioned that “Many alumni from the 2000s and earlier are familiar with attending the street fair on Wendell Ave and cheering on the teams at Bradley Field.” Shaw credits this with the primary reason as to the push for relocating the Street Fair, saying “East Elm is home for alumni,” not the Veteran’s Stadium.
Dr. Brad Zarges helped clarify some question, explaining that “the intention is for us to play our soccer games here, but there are some hurdles that we need to get over because we need to get approval to play on this field. One of our neighbor’s fences is a little close to the field and there are a few other proximity issues we need to get the approval of. We also have Veterans in reserve for backup in case the weather does not hold up.”
The main plan is to block off Wendell Avenue to restrict traffic, and have the street fair set up on the street with the intention of bringing everyone together. Zarges wants visitors to be able to watch the soccer games and only have to walk a few feet to the gym to see the women’s volleyball game and vice versa.
Arron Hebert, Direct of Student Events, commented that he was excited about the possibility of homecoming being on campus. For him, it will bring everyone closer and allow homecoming to be a bigger event on campus. “It will give it a more homecoming feel like other colleges have,” Hebert said.
In addition to Homecoming, the weekend of the 13-14 will also be the first Red Carpet Preview Day of the school year. Admissions’ goal is to have at least 50 perspective students attend, and hosting the Street Fair on campus with the soccer games will hopefully present a festive and lively atmosphere to perspective students.