Students ‘rumble’ into Homecoming


Jordan Boyer

Emonie Jordan (left), a senior kinesiology and sports studies major and the Homecoming Kickoff Activities co- chair, and Caroline Chrzanowska (right), a senior early childhood education major and the other Homecoming Kickoff Activities co-chair, call out raffle numbers at “Rumble in the Jungle” Monday afternoon in the Library Quad. “I think this was a great idea, I think the execution of it was perfect,” Jordan said. “I think what we have right now is really great, a lot of people are having fun. They’re staying to play the games, and they’re staying to win prizes.”

Brooke Schwartz and Chrissy Miller

Students expressed excitement on the kick off day of Homecoming.

Erika Murray, a sustainable energy graduate student, said her excitement over Homecoming has changed over her years in college.

“In undergrad, I went to a bigger school so our homecoming was just crazy,” Murray said. “Eastern is smaller so it’s not as wild, but it’s still fun. It’s the same vibes.”

She said she is looking forward to the activities on Saturday that will promote school spirit.

“I’m definitely excited to go to the tailgate and go to the game just because it’s a fun way to celebrate Eastern’s culture,” Murray said.

Already throughout the first day of Homecoming Week, Murray said it seemed very lively on campus.

“Everyone’s just happy and excited and more friendly,” Murray said. “It’s a good time.”

Junior history major Shane Malcolm said his favorite part of Homecoming is all the hype in the week leading up to it.

“Seeing everyone in the same excited mood to go celebrate something (is one of the greatest things about Homecoming),” Malcolm said. “The weather’s cooling off and they’re getting more excited about football and events and stuff.”

Andrew Hansen, a sophomore English and French major, said being a veteran gives him a unique perspective on the Homecoming experience.

“I feel a little distant from the cultural aspect of Eastern,” Hansen said. “Living off campus and maybe it’s the age difference, I don’t know. Kind of all of those things make me feel a little distant from something such as a homecoming.”

Even though he does not participate in Homecoming Week, Hansen said he can see the positive affects participation brings, especially for new students or those looking to feel more like they are a part of the Eastern community.

“Probably like me, people get involved in their daily grinds and going to class and even though you’re in class with the same people everyday, you don’t really know them most of the time,” Hansen said. “I think that this just gives them some opportunities to not only get to know other people but also get to know them under the same banner of Eastern.”

To those who are considering getting involved in Homecoming week, Hansen said even though it may seem intimidating, students should get involved as much as they feel comfortable.

“University is all about opportunity and taking those opportunities, taking those risks.” Hansen said.

Rumble in the Jungle helped kick off the week in the Library Quad.

At the event, there were games, such as beanbag, free food, prizes and giveaways.

Homecoming chair Jordan McLaren said there was a good turnout and students seemed to be getting excited for the upcoming homecoming activities.

“This is our kickoff event to get everybody excited for homecoming,” McLaren said. “We’ve had some good turnout so far, we’ve even had a lot of faculty and staff come out, so that’s really good.”

Many students, such as senior Carlie Cuffle, said the free food and other items were their favorite part of the event.

Cuffle said she loves homecoming because of its underlying message to unite and celebrate as a school.

“I feel like everyone is involved, and everyone’s hanging out, having a good time, nothing’s secluded and everyone just comes together,” Cuffle said.

The University Board also had a table up during the event to promote membership and getting involved, especially during homecoming week, member Mays Omar said.

Overall, the goal was to bring students, faculty, and community members together in celebration of Eastern, McLaren said.

“We really just want to bring the campus together and give them a reason for them to showcase their EIU pride,” McLaren said.


Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]