Students share thoughts on school spirit

Samantha Middendorf, Entertainment Editor

Homecoming is often referred to as a big event in a person’s college career.  This year’s Homecoming events began Monday and will continue through Sunday.

Students spend their Homecoming weekend at various events including “Yell Like Hell,” Eastern’s annual pep rally and cheerleading competition, the parade and the football game.

Marissa Artry, a sophomore studio broadcasting major, said she believes Homecoming brings out the school spirit in everyone.

“I think it’s a fun celebration, and it gives everyone something to do,” she said.  “Homecoming really brings out EIU unity.”

Artry also said because she is involved in sorority and fraternity life, she is automatically more involved in Homecoming than the average student.

“If I wasn’t in a sorority, I probably wouldn’t know that much about it,” she said.  “I’d definitely still go, but I wouldn’t be as informed. It definitely helps to be in a sorority.”

Artry also said Homecoming is not just about supporting Eastern, but about supporting one’s peers.

“It’s honestly just another way to support school spirit, but to also celebrate the people you go to school with,” she said.  It’s another way to have fun and celebrate the school and each other.”

James Trevarthan, a junior engineering physics major, said he thinks school spirit is crucial to the college setting.

“I never really had school spirit in high school, but when I came to EIU I started getting school spirit because I actually liked the school I was going to,” he said.  “I feel proud to be a Panther.”

Brittany Williams, a sophomore History major, said she had planned on going to the football game, but has to work at the food court instead.  She said she now plans to attend the parade.

“I didn’t get a chance to go to the football game or parade or anything last year, so I’m trying to do that better this year,” Williams said. 

Williams said the importance of school spirit depends on the student.

“There are kids here from all kinds of different campuses, different schools and different states,” she said. “Those students may be a bit awkward.”

Melissa Bollan, a freshman elementary education major, said she will be showing her school spirit by performing with the band.

“I’ll be in the parade, and I’ll be playing at the football game,” Bollan said. 

Jocelyn Swanson, a senior Spanish major, said she will try to show her school spirit while doing other commitments.

“I’ll probably go to the football game, and I have a concert on Sunday,” Swanson said.

Swanson said school spirit is particularly important for athletics.

“I think it’s important, especially when it comes to sports,” she said. “I think, with the football team, we tend to do better when more people are there and more people are excited.”

Melissa Thomeczeh, a food court employee, said school spirit is important whether you’re an Eastern student or a staff member.

“School spirit is always important,” she said. “It keeps people going and gives people something to come back to.”

In particular, Tomeczeh said she spreads school spirit by supporting student-athletes that come to eat at the food court.

“I talk to all of the volleyball girls, the soccer guys, the football guys when they come in and I try to go to a lot of the games,” she said. “I think when they know that people support them, they’ll do better. We try to support every student because it makes them feel like they’re a part of something.”

Samantha Middendorf can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].