Dressed in sparkly and suspendered get-ups, students kept Wildcat traditions alive Friday at the Weber State homecoming dance.
“You have to remember the ideas behind homecoming and that it has always been a tradition,” said Gregory Woodfield, WSUSA Activities Chair, who also participated in the dance. “Wildcat tradition is really heavy at Weber State.”
Woodfield remembers homecoming as a time to have fun and spend time with friends.
Whether lingering around the goodie table or showing off dance moves, the homecoming dance was a place to socialize with fellow Wildcats amid loud music and crazy costumes.
“When people dress up and do their part, the dance is just awesome,” said Woodfield, who was really excited for this year’s homecoming.
The theme this year was based on the novel “The Great Gatsby.” Wildcats got the chance to dress the part of a sexy, 1920s character from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic.
With cardboard cut-outs of old-fashioned buildings and vintage automobiles, the ballrooms in the Shepherd Union Building were transformed into the world of the roaring ’20s.
For married WSU students John and Jenna Watson, “The Great Gatsby” theme was what drew them Friday to their first homecoming dance together.
“I liked ‘The Great Gatsby’ theme,” John Watson said. “This is the first year we’ve been to homecoming at Weber State.”
To go along with the vintage vibe, a Prints Charming photo booth was displayed so couples could capture the ’20s style.
According to Corbin Wessman, WSUSA activities vice president, “The Great Gatsby” theme was popular with Wildcats.
“We were thinking of something along the lines of the masquerade theme we had last year and we came up with ‘The Great Gatsby,’” said Wessman. “When we put on themed parties like this, it’s always a big hit.”
Weber State University hosted the dance from 8 p.m to 12 a.m. Drawing in over 500 students, the dance topped off homecoming week.
However, the night didn’t officially end until students became “true Wildcats.”
According to Emma Clark, coordinator for student programming, the “true Wildcat” is a tradition in which a homecoming couple stands under the Bell Tower just before midnight.
When the clock hits the stroke of midnight, the couple ends homecoming with a kiss and become true Wildcats.
For Clark, these traditions are a great way for students to celebrate being a Wildcat and embrace school pride.
“I just love seeing all the students coming out to the dance and enjoying themselves,” Clark said.
“It’s really exciting when I see them all participating in events on campus and getting involved as students.”
Clark believes homecoming not only pushes school pride, but also gets students more involved on campus and in the community, especially in Downtown Ogden.
“We’re working on the College Town Initiative and it’s where Weber State supports the Ogden community, and the Ogden community supports Weber State,” she said, adding that homecoming is just a good way to build that community-campus relationship.
Wessman said encouraging a better appreciation for Weber State and the Ogden community among students was one of their goals during homecoming week.
For him, however, the homecoming dance is something Wildcats should always have.
“There is this preconceived notion that college is supposed to be a fun and outgoing thing. And we help provide that,” Wessman said. “I just think students really want and need (homecoming).”
The homecoming dance is also a family tradition.
Woodfield found some of his best friends when he started getting more involved in Weber State events. One of those friends became his wife during a very memorable Weber State homecoming dance.
He hopes Wildcats will find value in not only getting more involved on campus and community, but also in following traditions.
“I encourage all those who’ve thought about going to these dances or events to just actively participate,” Woodfield said. “Who knows what could happen? You could be kissing your future wife under the bell tower.”