Throwing pies at professors, 80s music overtaking the Kellogg Center and a paint party behind the Dow Recreational Center mark a fresh start to Albion’s 2013 Homecoming, making this year’s celebration one that more directly involves students.
The Student Ambassadors, formally known as Student Alumni Association, teamed up with Union Board and Student Senate to create events for Homecoming week that encourage students to become engaged with campus.
“I’m hoping events like Paint Party become a tradition on campus, something first-years come to college and hear about,” said Bridget Salogar, Ferndale senior and president of Student Ambassadors. “Homecoming is always more about the alumnae, but we wanted something for the students to be involved in too.”
Charles Coutteau, Rochester Hills sophomore and Student Ambassador treasurer, has similar sentiments about Albion’s student pride.
“Last year we all just went to the football game, but this year we want to get students more involved and be full of Alboin pride – not just Saturday, but the entire week leading up to it,” Coutteau said.
Before Student Ambassadors stepped in, Homecoming was full of cookies in the Kellogg Center and “Spirit Day.” Nothing attempted to unite the students or promote Albion pride.
“If you look at other schools, going to football games and homecoming is a huge deal,” Salogar said. “Students are excited to cheer on their school and connect with alumnae. That’s what we’re trying to promote here. Finding things that get students excited about the school.”
The Student Ambassador program is not new to Albion, but was recently revamped this fall. After attending a conference in New Orleans, the organization decided the name did not reflect their actions, as they wanted to invent a more professional, but inviting atmosphere.
“We’re the tie between the alumni of the college and the students right now,” Coutteau said. “We intermingle with alumnae, help out the alumnae office, and overall represent the student body.”
The organization strongly believes student involvement makes or breaks an event, especially Homecoming, which is deeply rooted in tradition and Albion pride.
Many students took a liking to the new events, agreeing Albion has improved greatly from last year in student engagement this week.
Nick Bertoia, Ann Arbor sophomore, concurs student pride is important to Albion’s success.
“Student involvement in terms of Homecoming is really important because it wouldn’t be the same if students just didn’t care,” Bertoia said. “It wouldn’t be as exciting, alumnae wouldn’t come back for it if it didn’t matter. It’s exciting to see alumnae and students interacting and participating in all the events this week.”
Photo by Jillian Putnam