Are You (Home)coming?


Photo: Guetty Moita

A homecoming outfit hung up in a closet. Many students felt uncomfortable dressing up for the homecoming dance and other homecoming events.

The once quiet Pumadome was filled with laughter and cheers this homecoming week. The events leading up to the dance is one of the most important homecoming traditions for many high schoolers. It can be hard to avoid homecoming traditions and there’s pressure to attend the dance itself. Despite this, some students still can’t be persuaded to attend.

For ninth-grader Connor Walsh, homecoming week was a series of days that he didn’t feel like participating in. 

“I don’t really like dressing up,” Walsh said.

Some of the surrounding activities of homecoming aren’t appealing to these students, so some students choose not to attend. 

Ninth-grade students at University Prep can attend a pre-homecoming service called Freshman Dinner. At this event, ninth-graders eat and take photos prior to attending the dance itself. Some individuals attended the dinner but decided to not attend the dance itself. 

Walsh was on the fence to attend the dinner. His friends attended the dinner and the dance but Walsh ultimately decided to not attend either. His parents had been traveling and the night of homecoming was the day his mother had returned. 

“My dad was home for a while, but my mom was going to be traveling for a couple of weeks… And I wanted to spend time with them,” Walsh said.

For others, homecoming clashed with their religious values. Junior Mohamed Hassan felt like the dance went against his religious values. 

“I can’t be at any spaces where people are listening to loud music and dancing. It ise not really in my religion to do so,” said Hassan.

Hassan is Muslim, and in Islam concerts are prohibited. A large part of homecoming is the dancing to music that students request, which makes homecoming inaccessible for Hassan.

Hassan was able to attend some of the other activities of homecoming. Hassan attended the varsity volleyball game and played in the grade v. grade volleyball tournament. Activities such as these are much more suitable to Hassan’s religion, and he can feel comfortable participating in them. 

“Anything for like service hours. I can attend those. Not against my religion and it helps like benefit me,” Hassan said. “There was also a movie for LSU (Latine Student Union) and they showed that movie and it was a social.”

Events such as these, which are calmer in nature, are events that all students are willing to attend. Opportunities that benefit both students and the community are wanted.

The stress and deafening volume of the environment makes it difficult for some students to participate.

“These dances are very loud, and they’re very overstimulating,” ninth-grader Jordan Woogerd said. “It’s always been like me being surrounded by people I hate in a really loud environment of me being overwhelmed.” 

The sense of school spirit also fell flat for Woogerd. She didn’t participate in the dress up days or attend the varsity games. 

Her friends attending the dance also influences her choice in attending. 

“If my friends are there and other people are there,” Woogerd said.

Dances still remain popular events which many students look forward to, and future events are in the process of being made.