Homecoming unites Billikens

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Homecoming unites Billikens

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No football? No problem.

Despite the fact that Saint Louis University lacks what many consider to be the a pinnacle of a Homecoming celebration, students, faculty and nearly 2,400 parents and alumni celebrated the 2011 Homecoming weekend in full force, participating in events ranging from the Golf Cart Parade to sword fighting demonstrations in the Quad.

Homecoming weekend also doubled as Parents’ Weekend on campus, allowing students to step back from their busy lives and reconnect with their families.

“The aspect I enjoyed most about Parents’ weekend was being able to give my parents a glimpse into the daily life of me,” junior Kyle Ingraham said. “They got to meet all my friends and their parents which made for a great weekend with family and friends. I look forward to next year, being a senior, and getting to invite my parents one last time.”

The weekend offered a chance for parents to explore the campus and see what SLU is like beyond the academics and statistics. Ingraham’s mother, Lynn Ingraham, attended Parents’ weekend and appreciated the flexibility of the activities that the University offered.

“With all of the activities, SLU does a great job organizing the events in such a manner that allows for the family to pick and choose which events they want to attend, but also makes it possible for the family to make their own agenda when it comes to exploring the city of St. Louis off-campus,” Lynn Ingraham said.

The festivities began on Sept. 22 with a speech by famous rap artist and activist Common, with more than 900 students attending. On Sept. 23, the Taste of Midtown took place at Hotel Ignacio as the newest addition to Homecoming activities, and gave attendees the chance to experience the diverse cuisine the St. Louis area has to offer.

“It was really cool to be able to see all the different foods in St. Louis in one place. Now I know which places to eat and don’t have to wander around looking for a restaurant,” sophomore Bret Langer said.

The main attraction of the weekend, however, was the men’s soccer game against Missouri State University on Sept. 24. More than 5,500 fans made it out to the game, one of the highest attendance totals in the nation this year. The game was preceded by the annual Homecoming Golf Cart Parade and a Billiken Tailgate. Rainbow Alliance, a student organization committed to “supporting and advocating for the members and allies of the Queer Community at Saint Louis University and beyond” took home the award for Best Float.

“We were really excited to participate in the golf cart parade. It was a great way to show of our group’s spirit and it was awesome that we won,” Rainbow Alliance Executive Board Member Matt Satcher said.

Reflective of this year’s “pride and tradition” parade theme, Homecoming brings all Billikens together to celebrate the SLU community and help shape SLU’s identity.

“Homecoming is very special cause it brings both Billikens in front of us and current Billikens together to define what SLU means,” Ryan said.