What It Takes to Make Homecoming Happen
“Flexibility, situational awareness, and time.” These are three of the several components needed to plan a homecoming event on Eastern’s campus, according to the Director of Alumni Affairs Robert Graham.
Homecoming events take massive amounts of planning, and there are several people on campus that spent their time doing so.
Graham planned several events geared towards ENMU alumni, including the Homecoming Picnic at Dr. Steven Gamble’s house held on Friday afternoon, where he invited roughly 5000 alumni to the picnic, hopeful that many would attend.
Another important component Graham focuses on when planning an event is a “willingness to grow and do things slightly differently.”
One aspect that was approached differently this year was making the form to enter the homecoming parade electronic, as opposed to a paper form.
“We increased the number of student organizations participating in the parade by 100%,” said Graham.
Concerning the planning of the parade, “My colleague Melissa Sena deserves the credit for the success of the parade,” said Graham.
Senior Secretary of Alumni Affairs Melissa Sena is in charge of obtaining permits and setting up each Homecoming parade entry in order to be judged.
“I send permits to the city and I put everyone in order. For Eastern floats, we give out three trophies, and one for the community. I helped set up the judges panel for this purpose. After that, I line everyone up for the parade, get them ready to go, and give them the route,” said Sena. “Once that day comes and once I get the call that the Foundation breakfast is over, I have to get them ready to start.”
Alumni Affairs works together with student organizations in an indirect way, while trying to make alumni as aware of these activities as possible.
“We try to be supportive of different events students put on, whether its Songfest or the bonfire. To show support, I served as a judge for Songefest this year,” said Graham.
When it comes to events geared towards students, the students run the show.
Associated Students of Eastern New Mexico University (ASENMU) Homecoming Director and senior Alexa Flem was instrumental in planning several student-
oriented events, such as the Back to the Future movie night, Songfest, and the bonfire.
When planning, Flem has to go through several channels in order to put on such events. To help her do this, she has a committee of about 20 people and the help of other student senators, as well.
“For events like the bonfire, or the movie night, where they are not necessarily located in this building (CUB), I have to go through physical plant; for catering I have to through Sodexo; if it’s a safety issue, such as walking over to the bonfire, I have to go through the police. Anyone that could possibly be affected by any of it has to be informed of what’s going on,” said Flem.
“My hat goes off to our students. They do a phenomenal job of organizing the various student activities for homecoming. I was really impressed with the level of organization,” said Graham.