For many, Homecoming week is known as the time when Hokie spirit is best portrayed but what isn’t as evident is how all the events, decorations and organization come together for it to be a success.
Are there elves who come at night and beautify the school in maroon and orange and magically provide all that there is for Homecoming week?
These magical beings are actually the Homecoming Board, which is in charge of everything and anything related to Homecoming.
The 13-member group begins preparations in January and meets weekly, even through the summer, up to the big finale. After the festivities end, the board has a few months off before they start the whole process over again in January.
“It’s a year’s worth of planning that goes into one week of the year,” said Monica Hunter, the advisor to the Homecoming Board and associate director of student centers and activities. “When Homecoming happens, it’s crazy and it’s fun, and I wouldn’t change anything.”
The Homecoming Board networks with many campus organizations to ensure Virginia Tech is represented in all aspects of student life.
“Those individual organizations choose what it is they want to bring, and work with their advisers,” Hunter said. “All I’m really doing is kind of pulling together some of the major things that are happening throughout the week that students will participate in.”
This gathering and participation is what motivates many board members to tirelessly plan for months on end.
"I joined the Homecoming Board, because I wanted to get involved in the tradition here at Tech," said Megan Darmanin a sophomore university studies major and the assistant director of decorations. "I also wanted to help increase the scope of students participating in homecoming."
Each person on the board has a position that is related to a certain task. The vice president of marketing and public relations, along with two assistants, are in charge of recruiting organization sponsors as well as donors for money for any homecoming related-expenses, which mostly consists of the cost for advertising, the hypnotist show and giveaways.
“We only get so much money from the budget, and then whatever else we want to provide, we need to get the money for,” said Chelsea Claytor, sophomore political science major and the assistant director of marketing and public relations. “Whatever money we get from outside sources basically decides how we can spend on other things.”
One of the biggest events the Board is in charge of is the Homecoming Parade, which is at the end of the week and is free for all to participate in and attend.
“It’s more responsibility, because we’re given a time that we can be on Main Street and we have to make sure that everyone shows up and starts at the same time, and we’re responsible for recruiting organizations to have a float in the parade,” Darmanin said.
Homecoming Week traditionally entails other events such as the hypnotist show, a concert, the Laugh Riot comedy show, the Corp of Cadets’ Pass in Review, the Spirit Rally and the Dr. Zenobia L. Hikes Memorial Stepshow.
These events are sponsored by a variety of student organizations. Certain events, such as “Donate for a Date with the Homecoming Court,” sponsored by Relay for Life, are pitched to the Homecoming Board.
A new Board decision this year was to incorporate the Homecoming theme into the Maroon Effect shirt, which is a Student Government Association initiative. This establishes a new tradition for future Homecomings. In past years, the Homecoming theme was always separate from the shirts, but SGA and the Homecoming Board agreed to fuse the two this time around.
Whether it’s making new decisions like this one or preserving school traditions, the Homecoming Board is a timeless effort by students who are dedicated to rallying the Tech community in a week of celebration.