The conclusion to Kean's series of Homecoming events included a pep rally, the tailgate, and the football game. These events happened between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Continuing the series of Homecoming events, the Pep Rally was held in the Hardwood Arena Gym on Friday, Sept. 30. Students checked in at the lobby and received tickets for different activities. Tickets were traded for snacks like cotton candy, ice cream and smoothies, or for banners, pom-poms and other school spirit items.
From 6 to 8 p.m., the audience was entertained by charismatic emcees and videos showing a fun side of Kean's sports teams. Volunteers from the stands competed for prizes in in games including cup-stacking, a three-point basketball shootout, and three rounds of "hungry-hungry cougar."
The Pep Rally gave people a chance to show their school spirit. Kean students rated their spirits on a scale of 1 to 10.
“I’d say I’m at a 10,” said Kylie Giordano, a junior elementary education major. Giordano plays for the Women’s Lacrosse team alongside sophomore Nicole Peters, a business major with an option in human resources.
“I’m definitely a 10,” said Peters. “Being an athlete here as well, you have to be a 10 for sure.”
To Giordano, being a Kean Cougar meant being involved, making close friends, and getting to enjoy what the campus has to offer. Her favorite thing about being a Cougar was the athletics program and how close all the teams were.
“Everyone helps each other out in every way,” said Giordano.
To Peters, being a Kean Cougar meant being “very prideful of the community” and "being collaborative, whether it’s sports or student relations.”
Both Giordano and Peters had words of encouragement for the Kean Cougars football team as they prepared for their game against the William Paterson Pioneers.
“Work together as a team, cheer each other on, and just be excited [and] happy to be out there regardless of what happens,” said Giordano.
Peters’ advice was more competitive, telling the team to “be fierce and show what being a Kean Cougar really means!”
The Homecoming Tailgate took place the following morning, going from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. At the Tailgate, students, alumni, and the surrounding community enjoyed food and won prizes from games.
Due to the storm, certain activities were moved into the Harwood Arena Gym, including the human claw, and the bucking bronco ride. The Homecoming tailgate had even more activites including water blasters, Pac-Man, and a virtual reality adventure game.
Despite the weather, organizers behind the tailgate were adamant about keeping it going. Sheila Philbert, Associate Director of the Miron Student Center, acknowledged the challenges that the storm presented.
“We planned for several large-scale activities that we knew the students would love, but unfortunately, due to the recent hurricane in the Gulf, we have had to relocate a majority of the items inside,” said Philbert. On an optimistic note, Philbert hopes that the Kean Community will "feel the Kean Cougar Pride in their hearts."
“I feel like everyone here is just very involved and dedicated,” said Nicolette Jomo, a senior and student teacher finishing her studies in education. “They know that we’ve all been looking forward to this…so to know that they just didn’t cancel it completely and provided us with a bunch of fun things to do makes me proud to be a Cougar.”
After the tailgate, our Kean Cougars played against the Williamn Paterson Pioneers football team. At the halftime mark, the Homecoming King and Queen were announced to the public. Congratulations to Alexander Salzar and Tamaya Upchurch from The Cougar's Byte
Philbert encourages students to be a part of activities like Homecoming to “experience the deep history of Kean students throughout the years.”