The Commerce Journal

November 11, 2013

University homecoming demonstrates improvement in student participation

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Did you get a chance to enjoy any of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Homecoming festivities this year?

If you didn’t, you missed out. While school spirit was certainly lacking during the four years I attended A&M-Commerce (2008-2012), the university has begun to turn things around, and Homecoming 2013 was a great example of this transition.

I covered a lot of Homecoming events while working for the school paper, and many of them were poorly attended. One year, the Homecoming parade was even cancelled, and the football game had to be stretched over two days.

But this year, the tailgate event featured student organizations, live entertainment, community leaders and alumni groups. It truly felt like a community coming together to support something they all cared about.

Granted, the football team lost, but clearly Ryan Ivey has the department headed in the right direction. Anyone who follows Lion Athletics can see that. The department is doing a great job of reaching out to the community. A prime example is the film sessions head coach Colby Carthel holds at Luigi’s every Monday. What a fantastic opportunity for the community and athletics to interact.

When I was a student, there were certainly some of my counterparts that cared deeply about the university. But too many left for home after classes on Thursday and didn’t show up until Monday.

The university seems to have turned a corner, thanks to increased student housing and an intentional push by organizations to reward exhibitions of school spirit.

Keep up the good work, and A&M-Commerce may soon turn into a destination on the weekends, instead of a point of departure.