A Fairytale For A Day

Kean University becomes magical for homecoming

Campus Life > A Fairytale For A Day
A Fairytale For A Day

Gaelle Gilles and Amanda Petty

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, hundreds of students and Alumni came together for one of the biggest events on campus, Homecoming. This year the theme for Homecoming was Once Upon A Time, where students and other attendees were able to dress up in their favorite fairytale outfits. 

A lot of classic fairytales came into existence, with thanks to fraternities, sororities, organizations and offices. 

Sorority Nu Theta Chi partnered up with fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon embraced the tale Peter Pan. The sorority-fraternity duo made sure to include the timeless crocodile Tick-Tock and a Neverland directional sign. What would Peter Pan be without Captain Hook? A game honoring the villain was constructed. A spin on the classic ring toss activity, there was a board with plastic hooks attached, the goal being to throw the rings on the hooks. There was also a creatively manufactured rotating cutout for people to take photos of their head on a character’s body. One side of the head cutout was the beloved Peter Pan and the other the magical Tinker Bell. The spirit of Neverland was captured, and instilled a desire in attendees to become Lost Boys and Girls. 

One sorority decided to not have a table theme that played into Once Upon a Time. Instead, Lambda Theta Alpha wanted to have a “really playful [table], especially with all the alumni coming with their kids,” commented Keani Esparra, Vice President of her sorority and a senior majoring in public relations. “We’re just tabling for the kids to come out and win prizes.”

Sigma Beta Chi also did not follow the crowd and went with a villains themed table.

"We wanted to be different," comments Christie Shaw, a sister of Sigma Beta Chi and a senior majoring in biology. "We didn't want to have a common theme, like a princess theme, so we combined all of the villains from [the] Once Upon A Time television show to make our theme."

It was not only fraternities and sororities that set up tables for Homecoming.

The Psychology (PSY) Organization chose The Little Mermaid for its theme because it is, “just something we really love,” commented Jackie Gido, treasurer and senior psychology rehab major. Her favorite part of Homecoming was how involved everyone got, especially the detailed outfits. It is not too far off to say fairytales came to life at Kean University.

Although many organizations did go with the traditional fairytale route for their theme, some did not. 

For example, the Kean University Council for Exceptional Children (KUCEC) "decided the theme would be a non-traditional fairytale story...because everyone has their own story that has some form of a happy ending, like many fairytale stories do," comments Layla Taqi, a junior majoring in special education and the Vice President of KUCEC. The theme for KUCEC was an overall fairytale since the organization did not focus on just one story. 

The Hispanic Latino Alumni Council got into the Once Upon a Time theme too. The council’s table contained a bucket full of shiny red poisoned apples for people to grab and eat while enjoying the surrounding festivities. The Office of Student Government was handing out a few goodies for free as well, which attendees appreciated. Free garb included seat cushions, cheer cones and candy apples. There was also a bull ride that did not require tickets to ride. Once word got around, the line grew with anxious students and alumni awaiting their turn to ride the mechanic bull.

It was evident to both Kean University affiliates and guests the pride in being a Cougar.

“A lot of school spirit…definitely see different types of people and where they gravitate -- some to art, some to the game...,” commented Elijah Minton, art alias the Art Alchemist, one of the visiting artists, “This [Homecoming] is a good representation of how Kean students feel about their school, a lot of spirit here today.”

But what is Homecoming without food? Spread across Kean Hall Lot, Once Upon a Time-esque food booths were set up, at which students and alumni could use their designated tickets for free food. The booths were labeled appropriately, with the food matching a specific fairytale. Booths included:

  • Pumba’s Sausage and Peppers
  • Rumplestiltskin’s Golden Fries
  • Alice in Wonderland Coffee and Tea
  • Snow White’s Candy Apples
  • Big Bad Wolf’s Cheeseburgers
  • Cruella’s Hot Dogs
  • 3 Little Pigs Pulled Pigs

Besides the tasty food that many enjoyed, people had the opportunity to play several carnival games, get his or her face painted, retrieve a glitter tattoo or take pictures in a photo booth. The carnival games included knocking down metal cans, a basketball and a baseball games, an aim-and-shoot and a high strikers. Attendees could win one of many prizes, which included stuffed characters like Scooby-Doo and emoticons. 

Kean University students, both past and present, took the fun from tailgating to the football game as the Cougars prepared to face the Frostburg State University (FSU) Bobcats.

Even as the opposing side cheered as FSU put the first points on the scoreboard, Kean University’s side did not lose hope. It was not long before feet started stomping the metal bleachers. The players on the field took this as a sign of encouragement and drew all the closer to scoring range.

Students in the crowd got excited as the announcer reminded the audience of the four possible prizes -- MacBook Pro, $500 Barnes & Noble gift card, reserved parking spot and free semester tuition. The thought “Will my name be called?” eagerly rushed through students’ minds.

At halftime, the scoreboard read 17 – 6, with FSU in the lead.

Even though they wanted the game to continue, the crowd was excited for the halftime show.

The halftime show started off with the Malcolm X Shabazz High School Marching Band from Newark, NJ. Although small, the band could be heard from both ends of the field. The Kean Dance Team followed the marching band performance with an outstanding set. Many attendees observed with awe as they danced across the football field.

And finally came the announcement everyone was waiting for. President of Student Organization (the full-time undergraduate student government) Emily Cubilete walked onto the field and announced the winners of the tailgate. 

The winners of the tailgate are as follows:

First place: Sigma Beta Tau and Theta Phi Alpha

Second Place: Sigma Beta Chi and Delta Phi Epsilon

Third Place: Nu Sigma Phi and Omega Sigma Psi

Cubilete also revealed who won the Homecoming King and Queen crowns. Michael Marquez, a senior majoring in psychology, was crowned King of 2016. The crown fitting for Homecoming Queen 2016 was bestowed to Erika King, a senior majoring in business management.

The final halftime announcement was the winner of “Semester on Us,” a prize provided and announced by Kean Xpedition. The winner of a "Semester on Us" was Alisa Meyer. For the other prizes, Paybe Vazquez won the MacBook Pro, Ariel Rimpson won a reserved parking spot and Gabrielle DiTomasso won the $500 Barnes and Noble gift card. 

The third quarter opened with excitement as Kean University gets 10 yards away from scoring in the first couple minutes. All efforts did not go to waste as the Cougars was the first team to score in the second half.

Surrounded by frigid air in the bleachers, the crowd needed to warm up. All it took was Kean University to catch an interception, regaining possession of the ball, for the people in the home stands to jump up and cheer their loudest and for the players on the sidelines to clap each other on the back, faces overtaken by large grins.

The Cougars lost this Homecoming game, 25 – 18. This did not stop the crowd from cheering them off the field as the players left for the locker room and as attendees returned to the parking lot for more tailgating.