Homecoming theme contest now open for GVSU community

Event co-chairs get a head start in planning annual celebration

By Claire Fodell | 2/26/14 6:32pm

In preparation for the fall 2014 homecoming celebration, the theme competition began this week at Grand Valley State University.

Homecoming chair Amy Hallochak of the Laker Traditions Team said all ideas are welcome, and there are no specific requirements for a theme idea. However, her co-chair, Brandon Fitzgerald, advised students to “be creative, be honest and think Laker.”

Even if the theme isn’t specifically Laker, Hallochak is certain that those who participate in homecoming activities will still feel the GVSU spirit.

“I love the sense of community homecoming creates within Grand Valley,” Hallochak said. “Students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members all come together to support being a Laker for a Lifetime.”

Last year’s Wizard of Oz theme was suggested by alumnus Marvis Herring through the contest. Other themes have been “sail away” in 2012, Halloween in 2011 and Willy Wonka in 2010.

As homecoming plans are still in the early stages of development, Fitzgerald and Hallochak could not reveal any big surprises, but there were a few details they could spill.

For one, Fitzgerald said that in 2014 there will be an effort to have more homecoming activities on all GVSU campuses. In the past, the majority of students who participate and compete in the events are from the Allendale Campus, so most of the events are held there.

“We really want to make sure everyone has the chance to show their Laker spirit during homecoming week,” he said.

Fitzgerald also plans to try to include students, alumni, faculty and staff members in the planning of homecoming.

This is the second year the Laker Traditions Team will be taking over the planning of the annual event. Hallochak said she hopes it will be as successful as 2013.

“I hope to continue what has previously been accomplished and expand on ideas and traditions within homecoming,” she said.

This is the first year that there are two students chairing the event, as Fitzgerald said it was a lot for one student to be in charge of.

Also different from years past, Fitzgerald and Hallochak were hired in December to start making plans in January — an entire semester before the event. Because of this factor, Fitzgerald said he and Hallochak will have more creative control since they will have been a part of the planning from the start.

Students, staff, faculty and community members who would like to enter submissions for the homecoming theme must do so by March 12. The Laker Traditions Team and the Alumni Relations staff will narrow down the ideas to three for the student body to vote on.

Ideas can be submitted by going to www.gvsu.edu/studentlife/homecoming and clicking on the paintbrush.

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