Homecoming Week offers diverse slate

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With a drive-in movie, presidential inauguration and return to the fountain for True Rebel Night, students won’t need a pair of ruby slippers to realize that “there’s no place like Dixie.” 

Dixie State University’s 2014 Homecoming Week began Monday, and activities associated with President Biff Williams’ inauguration make this year’s Homecoming an opportunity few students get to experience, said Jill Wulfenstein, vice president of student life and a senior integrated studies major from Pahrump, Nevada.

The student association’s Homecoming Kick-Off event ushered in the docket Monday at the Diagonal from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students received free food at the kick-off, and the DSU Alumni Trunk or Treat and Waffle Dinner closed out Homecoming’s first day at 6 p.m. at the Wade Alumni House.

Homecoming Week’s theme is “There’s No Place Like Dixie.” Although not all events directly embody it, Megan Church, vice president of service and a senior integrated studies major from St. George, said students can at least expect “subliminal things” to go with the theme at most events.

“Our theme is a little different this year; I love our theme, ‘There’s no Place Like Dixie,’” Church said. “It’s really fun, and I think it’s unique. There really is no place like Dixie, and our events are unbeatable.”

The lone event Tuesday, the Miss Dixie State Homecoming Queen Pageant, started at 7:30 p.m. in Cox Auditorium. This year’s pageant featured more than 10 contestants, and Wulfenstein said it remains a student favorite.

The marquee event today, however, just began last year, and Wulfenstein said instant success made it a Homecoming mainstay: the drive-in movie. Held at the old St. George airport, the drive-in movie features a showing of “Monster’s University” at dusk, and admission is free.

Church said new events like the drive-in movie cater to a larger portion of DSU’s student population.

“There’s an event for every person — whether you’re non-traditional, whether you’re ethnically diverse,” she said. “It just encompasses so many students and so many people. Homecoming offers opportunities for everyone to get involved.”

Williams’ inauguration happens Thursday at Burns Arena at 3 p.m. Wulfenstein said the inauguration highlights Homecoming Week’s best aspect: students can participate in an event that doesn’t happen often.

“The No. 1 thing that makes this Homecoming unique is that the students get the opportunity to participate in the presidential inauguration,” she said. “There are not that many people who get to experience something like this in their college careers because the turnover for college presidents doesn’t happen that often.”

The DSUSA Rock the Mall event at the Gardner Center Plaza starts at noon Friday, and the DSUSA Power Puff Football Game and the DSU Student Alumni Midnight 5k Run both take place at Hansen Stadium at 7:30 p.m. and midnight, respectively. Admission is $15 to enter the 5k.

Homecoming’s Saturday activities round out the week. Morning to late-afternoon events are the Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m., Alumni Tailgate Party at the Wade Alumni House at 3:45 p.m., and football game against Menlo College at 6 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.

The DSUSA Homecoming Dance, 9 p.m. at the Cox Pavilion, and True Rebel Night at the fountain at midnight cap off Homecoming. With so many events, students should find getting involved to be effortless, Wulfenstein said.

“Homecoming is an easy week for people to get involved in,” she said. “People can come out to these events and see what this school is really about and see that there is no place like Dixie.”

For further information on Homecoming, go to dixie.edu/homecoming.