Tech Activities Board implements changes for centennial Homecoming

For Tennessee Tech University’s 100th year as a college, the Tech Activities Board has changed and added new events to further celebrate the centennial year.

The theme for Tech’s Homecoming week will be “Happy birthday, TTU!” Many organizations enter Homecoming events to compete for trophies and prize money. This year, the planned contests include field games, a canned food drive, “Lip Sync,” designing Homecoming banners and a float submitted for the parade.

“We are really pushing for more non-Greek organizations to get involved in Homecoming this year,” said Kristen Creager, TAB president.

The canned food drive has been changed to further benefit residents of Cookeville. Last year, each organization that participated in Homecoming aimed to donate 30 pounds of canned food per member, but the suggested amount was changed for this year’s event. TAB Homecoming chairman Mason Johnson said there was more need for variety in the donated canned foods.

“Instead of having to have 30 pounds per person, for first place points you only have to have 20,” Johnson said. “But the kicker is the total weight per member should be split up equally in at least four different varieties of canned food.”

Last year, almost 30,000 pounds of corn was donated and distributed to eight to 10 surrounding churches and food pantries.

Another major change to the Homecoming lineup is the replacement of the annual pep rally with “Lip Sync.” In the past, many students who participated in the pep rally cheerleading event have been injured. Some have torn their ACL, fallen from stunts and misjudged their flips.

“I had just learned how to do a back tuck on a spring floor at a gymnastics facility,” said Ross Keasler, a participant in pep rally. “But during the performance, the music messed up, which messed up my timing and messed up my jump. I landed on my face and had strawberries on my forehead.”

Creager said because of the injuries, TAB decided the pep rally was no longer worth the risk to students.

For “Lip Sync,” organizations will be judged on costumes, creativity and performance. Creager said the “Tech Pride” theme was highly suggested. “Lip Sync” holds the second-most points available for Homecoming events. The first place team may receive up to 70 points depending on percentage of participation.

Last year, TAB held a skit night event where each organization performed a skit based on its Homecoming holiday theme. Johnson said only a few people per organization could participate in the skit last year, so TAB replaced the event with one where more people may be involved.

Instead, at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at the intramural fields, two options for this event will be set up for the field games portion of Homecoming competition. For the first game, tug-of-war, teams of 10 members will be required to wear closed-toe shoes with no cleats or spikes.

“If your team has more than one organization, you must have at least one member of each organization participate in this event,” according to the Homecoming packet available online.

The other field event will be an obstacle course in which two members from each organization or team will race against the clock. Once every member has been timed, the top 10 participants will randomly compete against each other in a bracket.

The two remaining competitive events are Homecoming banners and the Homecoming float parade. Johnson said the rules for both remain the same as last year. Each organization is expected to submit a banner, which will be judged on creativity, appropriate theme and quality of the artwork. Banners should be a full-size flat bed sheet with art based on the organization’s birthday party theme.

The Homecoming float for each organization must participate in the parade Saturday, Nov. 14. The parade is will begin on South Dixie Avenue at Hobby Lobby and end in front of the Roaden University Center on Tech’s campus. After the parade, the floats should be parked on Stadium Drive beside the football field and not moved until the football game is over.

The Homecoming float holds the most possible points that can be awarded during the competition, with first place winners receiving up to 90 points overall.

Sign-in and sign-out for these events is expected to be quicker because students may scan their student IDs instead of documenting their attendance on paper. Sign-ins will begin 30 minutes before each event and will end 30 minutes after the event has started. Sign-out for each event will begin near the end of the event and will continue until 30 minutes after it’s over.

“In order to sign in and sign out, each member must scan a valid Tech ID,” Johnson said.

Homecoming events begin Nov. 9 and end Nov. 14.