Some Eastern Michigan University Eagles wore their green and white proudly during the days leading up to Saturday’s Homecoming football game against Kent State at Rynearson Stadium.
Events scheduled throughout the week encouraged students to show their school spirit and cheer the team to victory. While it may not have been enough for EMU to win the game—the Eagles team suffered a 41-14 defeat—Eagle pride was still a force to be reckoned with last week.
Spirit Week started with a bang at the TRUEMU Homecoming Kick Off Campus Bash in front of Buell Hall Sept. 30. Hosted by Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association, students were pumped up for the rest of the week’s events with food, games, prizes and music. The party focused on celebrating Homecoming together and proved successful when the event lasted well beyond the scheduled end-time.
The Rec/IM also hosted events throughout Spirit Week, including the popular T-shirt exchange. A table was set up outside of Pray-Harrold Oct. 2 and anyone with a used university or college T-shirt was encouraged to trade it for a brand new EMU T-shirt. The used T-shirts collected were then donated to the charity Homeless Empowerment Relationship Organization of Washtenaw County.
“A lot of people ask us if we burn the shirts from other schools,” Michelle Owens, assistant director of student personnel at the Rec/IM, said. “We joke that we wish we could burn them, but we donate them and they go to help the homeless.”
EMU sophomores Allison Bell and Anthony Hostman both worked at the T-shirt exchange.
“It was so much fun,” Bell said.
While Hostman said, “It was awesome just hanging out and flagging people down.”
The two estimated more T-shirts were collected than handed out.
“Some people would give us four shirts but only take one,” Bell said.
“It’s been a couple years that we’ve done the T-shirt exchange and everyone’s starting to get it,” Owens said. “We had close to 700 shirts. We ran out of smalls, mediums and larges by 12:30,” she said.
Two other events were sponsored by the Rec/IM that same day, including a Texas Hold ‘em tournament and Homecoming Field Day, which was co-sponsored by Campus Life.
“Field Day was great,” Owens said. “Seven teams showed up. Everyone was dirty and muddy. It was a lot of fun.”
Field Day teams competed in events such as a wheelbarrow race through the mud, an egg toss, a three-legged race, a mud crawl and more.
“What’s great is that Field Day is for everyone; it’s not just about being athletic,” Owens said. “The students were fantastic and the energy was positive.”
Spirit Week didn’t end there. Wednesday, EMU President Susan Martin hosted the Campus Picnic to celebrate Homecoming with students and alumni.
“I went to the lunch and it was a blast,” senior history major Aynsley Sterling-Meeuwen said. “It seemed like everyone was into Homecoming week.”
Thursday evening, students gathered outside of the Student Center for the TRUEMU Homecoming Block Party. Local businesses that participate in the EMU Eagle Discount Card Program set up tables and offered students coupons, prizes, free food and other free stuff.
Senior aviation and aerospace major David Bradley said he enjoyed all of the Homecoming events, but the block party was his favorite.
“Everyone is hanging out, the weather is perfect and it shows how much people really care,” Bradley said.
Immediately following the block party, the TRUEMU Homecoming Pep Rally was held in University Park. The EMU Marching Band, cheerleaders and dance team were all there to get students excited for the big game.
“The pep rally was fantastic,” Owens said. “It seemed like we had almost 1,000 people in the amphitheatre. Everyone was really excited.”
Channel 955’s Mojo, of the Mojo in the Morning show, was at the Block Party, hosting a limbo contest and hula-hooping contest. He hyped up the pep rally as well. He praised the Eagles for their school spirit.
“It’s awesome,” Mojo said. “I love it. Everyone is having a good time.”
Mojo attempted to guarantee the football team a victorious game, though it was to no avail.
“If Eastern loses tomorrow, I promise to strip naked during the halftime show of the first home game next year,” he said.
Unfortunately, the week’s spirit events and Mojo’s promise did not lead up to a win for EMU. While students were ready for the football game, it seemed as though the team was not.
“All season long, the team asked for fans to come out and support them,” Sterling-Meeuwen said. “We got a good crowd and the team didn’t show up to play. That’s what made the loss harder to take.”
Some students were not surprised by the loss. Thursday evening, Bradley was skeptical of a victory.
“It’s hard to be excited for a game when we’re not winning,” Bradley said. “I’d say we have a fifty-fifty shot at beating Kent State.”
Even with the loss, Sterling-Meeuwen remained proud of EMU and enjoyed Homecoming.
“I’m still proud to be an Eagle, no matter if we win or lose,” he said.
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