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Homecoming Sweet Home

Home sweet Homecoming


Greensburg, 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, has been home to Seton Hill University

(SHU) for decades. Homecoming, a Fall tradition of SHU fell on October 5, 6, and 7th

2007. Are residents of the Greensburg area and commuters of SHU shunned from the

festivities of the university? Some say that homecoming affects only students, parents,

faculty, and alumni of the university.

Does homecoming affect students of SHU moreso than commuters and residents

Greensburg? Students who remain on campus, those who do not have vehicles, tend to do

more campus related activities, such as homecoming. While commuters participate in

activities off campus due to their availability of a vehicle.

“I have never attended a homecoming, they were not my style. The whole

interaction thing really never appealed to me.” Stated Cleveland Steward, a resident of

the Greensburg area and 2006 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg who

was a commuter.

SHU is a diverse college. The student makeup derives from 35 states, and 17

foreign countries. According to the SHU website, a majority of those students live on

campus with the other percentile living off campus, which does not balance out the

population. More students live on campus than commute.

SHU does offer a variety of programs to include traditional studies, graduate,

honors and adult degree programs. With those programs implemented, this brings in a

large population to the Greenburg and surrounding areas. Those students fuse with the

Greensburg population of 40,000 and the difference of whether homecoming and other

campus related activities affects them or not becomes a debate.

Homecoming is a tradition at many universities and colleges around the world. It

usually includes activities for students and alumni. Students and their parents are able to

interact with faculty and alumni, which normally does not happen on a regular basis. At

SHU, something new is brought to homecoming every year. This year SHU started the

festivities on Friday night with an Athletic Hall of Fame dinner at the McKenna Center,

followed by comedians from VH1’s Best Week Ever Comedy Performance.

Homecoming ended on Sunday with Sing and Ring, featuring the University choir,

Women’s Choral, Handbell Ensembles & Westmoreland Children’s Chorus in Cecilian

Hall.

“Homecoming was great, it was filled with students, laughter, and fun. I am glad

that I got to experience this. Homecoming lived up to my expectations.” Said Chelsea

Cooper, a freshman at SHU, who lives on campus.

The commuter behalf of SHU can feel left out sometimes from campus

interaction, especially homecoming, a time when students gather and make memories

together. A commuter may feel isolated and restricted from activities on campus. Luckily

SHU recognizes this problem where the Office of Activities and Commuter Life

organizes and develops resources for commuters to feel an attachment at SHU.

“Commuters make up an important component of the university.” (according to Jaimie

M. Steel, who works in the Activities and Commuter Life department at SHU)

“ I really did not feel as if I was invited to homecoming. I felt left out of things. I

have many friends who live on campus, but all they were willing to do were recreational

activities off the campus. Homecoming did not grab my attention, this was due to not

officially being asked to attend. I feel it is more for freshmen who live on the campus.”

Stated Erin Waite, a sophomore who commutes to SHU.

SHU is not as large as some state schools or universities in the tri-state area (Penn

State, Pittsburgh University, Indiana University, and California University of

Pennsylvania). This makes it hard for students to find things to occupy them on campus,

so many venture off campus to find entertainment and amusement. SHU is a private

institution which appeals to students who are academically disciplined; the university

offers a 16:1 student to faculty ratio and has 35 majors to choose from. The campus of

SHU does not house bars or small shops to satisfy every student’s needs. The Greensburg

area offers these amenities to college students and residents of the community. Many of

the students of SHU venture off campus regularly to identify themselves with the area.

Sherie Miller, a 2003 graduate of SHU who lived off campus during her four years

stated “I participated in homecoming every chance I had. It was a good experience that

has left me with cherished memories. I feel that you develop a better relationship with

fellow students, who come from off and on campus, plus the faculty is great. No students

are really ever invited, that is why SHU posts the event around campus and on their

website. SHU does no restrict anyone from participating. I do not understand why people

who does not attend the college would want to go to homecoming. Is it really that

important that they do not miss it?”

SHU’s homecoming can be a good time had by all, students, faculty, alumni, and

commuters. SHU accommodates students who live off and on campus by developing

activities geared specifically at the two groups. Students and faculty put a lot of hard

work and time putting homecoming together, restricting no one individual from

attending the event. Lasting memories and interaction are traits that make university

students appealed to their schools.


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