School spirit fuels homecoming celebration

Photo: Grace Lehrian
Hundreds of alumni flocked to Edinboro to participate in the 88th annual Homecoming celebration.
EUP celebrated its 88th homecoming

By Grace Lehrian
News Editor/Spectator

Edinboro University celebrated its 88th annual homecoming starting Oct. 3 through Oct. 5. This is the time of year that many Edinboro alumni come back to relive their years as students at the university and it is also a time for current students to celebrate the university’s heritage.

There are many festivities for alumni and students to participate in throughout the weekend, including the traditional parade and the football game.  The parade took place at 10 a.m. on Oct. 4. With Edinboro’s very own marching band leading the way, the parade included floats made by different organizations of the campus and some from the surrounding areas. The parade was the prelude to one of Edinboro’s biggest football games of the year, the homecoming game.

The bleachers were packed with alumni and students dressed in the red, black and plaid attire.  The Student Government Association was ready with free pom-poms to hand out at the entrance of the home bleachers. Throughout the game, small footballs, shirts and cups were given away, all a symbol of patronage to Edinboro University. The crowd cheered for the players as they went head to head with Indiana University’s football team. Homecoming seemed to bring about a new feeling to Edinboro University.

School spirit and a celebration of our Edinboro’s heritage seemed to be the overall theme to homecoming. It is not strange to see men walking around in a kilt, or to hear a bagpipe playing in the distance. We are Edinboro, this is our heritage and we are celebrating it. There are a few students at Edinboro who seem to think that without school spirit, it would be detrimental to the university. 

Dan Catizone is the athletics representative in the house of reps for the Student Government Association and is also in charge of McCatos Mob. 

McCatos Mob is the student section of the crowd that is usually located directly next to the Edinboro marching band. This section is designed to rally the crowd and show the most support possible for our football team. Catizon would agree that Edinboro’s past is just as important in the present to preserve school spirit.

“It’s a celebration of the past and the present of our university and I think it’s a good time where we can really just pause and look back on where we come from. To see what our history is and what it means to us and what really makes Edinboro, Edinboro. We might not feel that connected to our past, but it seems to be a pretty important part of what makes this university what it is right now,” said Catizone.

Catizone went into further detail about McCatos mob and how students can be a part of the mob by just attending the game.

“It’s under the student section committee in SGA, which is like a sub-committee, it’s not a mandatory meeting for anyone to go to, it’s optional.  Anyone from the greater student body can join it and we pretty much organize McCatos mob, which we have come to call our student section. So at athletic events, and things like that, wherever the student section maybe that’s what we are going to call our McCatos mob. Just rallying around, because McCato is our school mascot,” said Catizone. He continued saying “If all students were there, we would get more channeled energy going on. More school spirit, more chanting.” 

Catizone is not alone in his feelings about school spirit. 

Kennedie Ebersole, a cheerleader for Edinboro, also seems to think that school spirit is an important part to any school.

“It is essential because I can tell that players of any sport really love all the support. It makes them feel like they have a whole other team behind them… I do notice a change in players, I know being a cheerleader that I see the football players getting pumped up as the crowd gets louder. If we continue to have support, all of EUP’s sports will appreciate it,” said Ebersole.

Both Catizone and Ebersole noticed that Edinboro’s homecoming seems to be a special weekend to the alumni and students.

“I think homecoming is a very cherished time. I know all the alum. love to come back every year and see how well Edinboro is looking through sports and campus wise,” said Ebersole.

It seems to be so “cherished” that students and alumni hardly need a push from groups like McCatos Mob to promote school spirit.

“We haven’t really done anything to make homecoming a spirit weekend. It doesn’t really need publicity. It is, in itself, a big enough weekend that people will be at the homecoming game,” said Catizone.

Catizone looks forward to improving the way that students receive information surrounding other games throughout the year.

“What we are trying to do is basically advertise. What we think is that students don’t always necessarily know when an event is happening, or they knew too far in advance and it gets put to the back burner and forgotten about. So we think if we can do an intensive two day before the event advertising campaign then we can really highlight certain home events with area rivals.”

Catizone is hoping that the improvements will encourage students to feel more involved with the school. He feels that there is a direct correlation from the school spirit to the retention rate that Edinboro University is currently struggling with.

“I think that it directly relates to retention. Students that come in during their freshman year that actually move on to graduate from Edinboro University. We have a pretty bad retention rate as it is, compared to other universities and we are doing as much as we can. Every department in the university realizes this, and they are doing as much as they can. I’ve been working with Bruce Baumgartner, the athletics director, and he told me that he is working with res-life and on campus dinning and they are all thinking about different ways that we can make this place more student friendly. Ultimately bringing more students in and keeping more students here.”

When the floats and banners of homecoming come down and the students return to classes, Catizone and Ebersole would encourage students not to forget how important school spirit is.  Supporting the school and getting involved can be as simple as going to a wrestling match or football game. Students who wish to be more involved also have the option to try out for cheerleading, color guard, dance team and the marching band during scheduled addition times at the beginning of the semester.

Grace Lehrian is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached by eupnews.spectator@gmail.com