Homecoming week is fast approaching, and this year it features a special emphasis on keeping traditions alive at Weber State University.
WSUSA Student Body President, Bret Alexander, said that this whole school year will be themed around traditions. It started with a new program introduced this year, called “WSU Traditions Keeper,” coordinated by the WSU Alumni Association. This program lists 50 traditions that students can complete throughout their whole college experience. The completion of the traditions is recorded on the free smartphone app “WSU Traditions Keeper” and participants will receive different prizes as they reach different levels of tradition keeping. Alexander said that students can even submit traditions if they have completed them in past years at the University when the program did not yet exist. Alexander explained that the final prize for completing all 50 traditions is a beautiful graduation stole embroidered with “WSU Traditions Keeper” in cursive script.
“This year we are working closely with the alumni office to keep traditions alive and continuing through generations,” said WSUSA Activities Vice President, Michelle Thao.
Going along with the new focus of traditions, the Homecoming theme for this year is “A Wildcat Tradition.” Almost all of the events during Homecoming week are WSU traditions, and several can contribute towards WSU Traditions Keeper requirements.
Friday, October 4 – Classic Skating Disco Night – This annual event is hosted by the Weber Davis Campus, and held at the Layton Classic Fun center from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 5 – Mt. Ogden Hike – Another annual event, students, faculty and staff get together to do this hike with the President of the University, Brad L. Mortensen. Everyone sings the school song together while hiking up the mountain. The hike will start at 8:30 a.m. at the trailhead at Earl’s Lodge in Snowbasin. Participants can meet at the Browning Center on campus at 7:15 a.m. to take a shuttle to Snowbasin, if desired. Special t-shirts will be available.
Monday, October 7 – Homecoming Pep Rally – Students, WSU’s athletic director, spirit squad, dance team, the band and will get together for a festival in Bell Tower Plaza at 12:45 p.m. The football team captain will also be there to say a few words to the crowd.
Monday, October 7 – Light the W – This event is a new tradition that WSUSA is starting. Alexander said that WSU has had a W on the mountain during Homecoming week for about seven years now, but not many people know much about it. In an effort to change that, there will be a festival with games, food trucks, lanterns and music held in Bell Tower Plaza from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to celebrate the lighting of the W. “We want to make sure we know we’re Weber,” Alexander said.
Tuesday, October 8 – Session on the Ledge: Homecoming Trivia Game Show from noon to 1 p.m. at the Shepherd Union Atrium Ledge.
Tuesday, October 8 – C&O Casino Night – Alexander explained that this event is another big tradition at WSU, the second largest event that Clubs and Organizations does. Professional dealers are brought in and set up at poker tables and such for games that students can play to earn prizes such as iPad minis and hydro flasks. The event is also service oriented, so the entrance fee is simply a can of food to donate. It will be held in Shepherd Union Ballroom B from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, October 9 – WSU Service Day of Remembrance will be open in the Shepherd Union Atrium throughout the day. “Utah is number one in the US for service. We really like focusing on service, and what that means is being an active citizen in your community,” Alexander said.
Wednesday, October 9 – Dive-In Movie – Another annual tradition, the Dive-In Movie event will be held at the Swenson Pool at 7 p.m. This year they will show Aquaman. The movie is free for students with a Wildcard, and $7 for those without. Bring your swimsuits!
Friday, October 11 – Homecoming Dance – The annual dance, sporting the theme “Lights, Camera, Action!” will be held at the Shepherd Union ballrooms from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Prices are $12 per couple, $7 per single, or $50 per group of 10. There will be food and drinks, paparazzi photos, and caricatures. Dress code for the dance is formal wear.
After the Homecoming dance, around midnight, students can gather around the Bell Tower for the opportunity to become a True Wildcat with their significant other. Becoming a True Wildcat entails kissing one’s significant other while the clock rings midnight. Couples will then receive magnets that say “True Wildcat” that they can sign their names on. Alexander said that they will also be handing out chocolate kisses to those without someone to kiss, so that “everyone gets a kiss that night.”
Saturday, October 12 – Homecoming Fan Fest and football game – Finally, again a big tradition, the final events of homecoming week will be the big tailgate party before the football game, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the game itself against Southern Utah that will start at 6 p.m. Alexander said that the events will probably be a lot bigger this year due to the new Stewart Stadium addition. Gloves will be passed out at the game to liven up the student section.
Traditions at WSU can help students feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie while also having fun.
“For me, the importance of tradition is the re-occurrence feeling of goodness or belonging. Tradition is something that makes you feel like you are a part of it,” Alexander said.
Information about the Homecoming week events can be found at www.weber.edu/homecoming.
More information about WSU Traditions Keeper can be found at www.weber.edu/traditionskeeper and the app WSU Traditions Keeper.