Letter to the editor: Homecoming Coalition building tradition at UK

Every year a variety of student organizations across campus work hard to make the tradition of UK’s homecoming one that is meaningful and inclusive of the entire student body. This year was no exception.

Formed in February 2010, the University of Kentucky Homecoming Coalition gathers every year to build a schedule of events that engages the interests of every student. It helps that the coalition itself is comprised of a broad representation of the student body. It includes members from the Student Activities Board, Student Government, Center for Community Outreach, DanceBlue, Black Student Union, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow and Team Wildcat.

Since its creation, the coalition has succeeded in inviting the entire UK community to participate in the tradition of homecoming. This year, like always, it welcomed every student organization to participate in Paint the Town Blue, build a float for the annual Homecoming Parade and nominate a student within their organization to become this year’s homecoming king or queen. It also encouraged organizations to compete for the Wildcat Cup in fraternity, sorority and non-Greek divisions.

Overall, 44 organizations took part in homecoming events this past week. The Homecoming Coalition even saw six student organizations participate for the first time. Newcomers included First Generation Initiatives, Crafty Cats, the VIP Center and Delta Sigma Phi.

Moreover, last week’s key events, including the DanceBlue 5K, the NPHC Step Show, Mr. & Ms. Black UK, the Homecoming Pep Rally, the Homecoming Parade and the homecoming game itself, provided a variety of opportunities for individuals to take part in the week’s festivities. Additionally, all UK students were given the opportunity to cast their vote for homecoming royalty.

The coalition even reached out to the Lexington community at-large. Kitty Karnival let school-aged children have fun on campus with games and activities set up by student organizations. And the Homecoming Parade’s location: downtown — for the second year in recent history — made it easy for Lexington residents and students alike to enjoy the spectacle. With such a variety of events taking place across campus throughout the week, Homecoming 2012 provided every student the opportunity to become engaged in the rich tradition of UK.

As a longtime Wildcat, I am pleased to see so many individuals and organizations taking advantage of this opportunity. For those who participated this year, I hope that you found fun and enrichment in “Building on Tradition” at UK.  For those who did not, I eagerly encourage you to get connected with next year’s homecoming celebration.

Each and every student, whether current or past, deserves to experience why Homecoming is the greatest week of the year to be a Wildcat!