Monday, December 9

USAC revives UCLA homecoming tradition after seven years

Student government officials have confirmed plans to celebrate homecoming at UCLA for the first time since 2004, though some have raised concerns about the amount of money allocated to the event.

In the past, homecoming was celebrated with a parade and carnival. Formal festivities were put on hold seven years ago because of dwindling attendance and enthusiasm, said Kelly Knickerbocker, a third-year political science student and executive director of the homecoming committee.

People no longer felt the cost was worth it, she said.

Emily Resnick, president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, made the return of homecoming one of her campaign promises. The tradition was reinstated over the summer, with the homecoming committee receiving $23,700 to fund this year’s activities, Resnick said.

This compares to $90,000 allocated to Bruin Bash and about $21,300 allocated to textbook scholarships, she added.

The funding allocation stirred controversy on the event’s Facebook page. A number of students raised objections about the amount of money that was being spent.

“This is such a waste and (a) disappointment,” one commenter wrote.

USAC officials said the main source of funding, however, is the USAC surplus fund, which is separate from money allocated to other student organizations and events.

The other sources of funding are personal, alumni and corporate donations, Resnick said.

Resnick said the goal of homecoming is unity and increasing school pride. Homecoming will fall on the same weekend as Parents’ Weekend.

UCLA technically has a homecoming weekend every year, but it is poorly advertised, said Mandy Schafenacker, co-director of the homecoming committee and a fourth-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student.

In recent years, the focus on homecoming was shifted to Beat ‘SC week, Knickerbocker said. But the game against rival USC has often fallen on Thanksgiving week.

Low attendance make events such as the car smash less successful, she said.

The homecoming committee also hopes to bring back alumni and strengthen UCLA’s alumni network, Knickerbocker said.

Homecoming week will begin on Friday, Oct. 28 with a carnival on the Intramural Field. On Saturday, Oct. 29, UCLA faces off against California at the Rose Bowl for the homecoming game.

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