Homecoming is an annual tradition at USF that brings together students, alumni and faculty to celebrate their school spirit. School spirit has not been considered one of USF’s strongest points, but with the best efforts of everyone from the alumni association, ASUSF Senate, Campus Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, and of course athletics, homecoming just might be the time to encourage enthusiasm even among the most spiritless Dons.
One of the events students anticipate every year is the concert, in which a big-name act comes in to perform primarily for the USF community. This year’s performer, Lupe Fiasco, is a hip-hop artist. Having hip-hop artists perform has become a trend, with Wyclef Jean performing in 2008 and Common in 2007. Campus Activities Board homecoming director Jenny Dinh said she was cautious in choosing an artist that would please most students and “took into consideration” the fact that hip-hop had dominated homecoming for the past few years. To assess what genre most students wanted to hear, Dinh and the homecoming committee performed extensive surveying, utilizing Facebook, USFConnect, OrgSync, and in-person questioning.
According to Darren Pierre, coordinator of student organizations, about 650 students were surveyed, about 38.6 percent voting for hip-hop. Alternative came in second with 17 percent of the vote and rock came in third with 12.7 percent. Hip-hop, with a clear majority, was the genre they chose to look into.
Dinh went to an agency and told them she wanted a hip-hop artist, and they gave her a list of available performers. Lupe Fiasco stood out to everyone, she said, because he is popular and his lyrics are in line with USF’s mission. “He’s hip-hop, but he’s not so degrading. His lyrics are really positive and that’s unusual.”
The cost of putting on this concert was not small, the bill of Fiasco alone coming in at $50,000. This money comes from the activity fee included in every student’s tuition. For this reason, it was important to Dinh that students really enjoy it.
But Dinh also wants everyone to remember that homecoming is not just about the concert. “It’s a whole week of events,” she said. “There’s the pep rally, the carnival, and of course the big game.”
The pep rally, being hosted by ASUSF Senate, will offer the community a chance to meet members of the basketball team as well as Head Coach Rex Walters and will feature the USF Pep Band, Spirit Squad, and Los Locos. Saturday afternoon is the carnival, hosted by the Residence Hall Association, which will feature carnival-themed booths with various games, face painting, and a make your own Dons T-shirt station. Each station is hosted by a different campus club or organization. The big game is on Saturday night, when the Dons will face the Santa Clara Broncos.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thurs Feb. 19
12:30 p.m. pep rally
Fri Feb. 20
8:00 p.m. Homecoming Concert
Sat Feb. 21
2-4:00 p.m. RHA Carnival
7:00 p.m. Homecoming game
Sun Feb. 22
9 a.m. Tom Caruso 5k run/walk
Check out www.usfca.edu/alumni for more schedule details