News, On Campus

BC Prepares for Homecoming Weekend, Introduces Court and New Spirit Week Format

Boston College is completely transforming homecoming weekend, announcing its first homecoming court and themed spirit week to celebrate BC and revamp its traditions.

“I knew this was something [Shawna Cooper Whitehead] was interested in doing to start a new tradition, to make homecoming weekend less just a football game and more something to celebrate BC’s community,” said Julia Spagnola, a member of the court and MCAS ’23.

Cooper Whitehead, vice president for Student Affairs, spearheaded the changes for homecoming this week, which include the return of the Homecoming Dance on Friday after three years and a new format for spirit week with themed dress-up days. 

Six representatives from Mission and Ministry, BC Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties, one recent alumni, and a Board of Trustees member selected the 10 seniors who comprise BC’s first homecoming court.

These seniors will help bolster school spirit by attending various events throughout the week, according to Cooper Whitehead, Colleen Dallavalle, senior advisor to the vice president of Student Affairs, and Abigail Czerniecki, graduate assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Spagnola, who is also the vice president of UGBC, said she is very excited to be a member of the University’s first homecoming court.

“I wanted to be a part of that process and [set] the tone for hopefully something that will become a really good tradition here at BC, something that people acknowledge and celebrate,” she said.

Jack Leary, MCAS ’23, first learned about homecoming court about a month ago when the applications were emailed to the senior class. He said he decided not to apply because he did not feel comfortable nominating himself. 

“I think it’s so dumb,” he said. “The self-nomination aspect of it really confuses me because I think the whole point of a homecoming court is that you want it to be the people that are most respected by the student body and the most well-liked, and I think that the self-nominations kind of get rid of that.”

Quinn Wilson, one of Leary’s roommates and CSOM ’23, said he agreed that nominating people would be more fun, but he does not really understand homecoming court in general. 

“I literally just learned about this a couple hours ago,” Wilson said. “I don’t really understand the point of it.”

Ishaan Kaushal, however, said he likes the new initiative, as it aims to get all students involved on campus.

“I really think this year they really honored the idea of meeting people where they’re at when it came to their BC experience,” said Kaushal, a member of this year’s homecoming court and WCAS ’23.

As a Woods College student, Kaushal said it can be difficult to be immersed on campus—clubs often host events at night when Woods classes occur. He hopes to use the position to show people there are more unconventional paths at BC.

“I think for a lot of people there’s this expectation of like one way to experience BC, but I wanted to be able to … show people that there isn’t this set definition of what the BC experience looks like,” Kaushal said.

According to Cooper Whitehead, Dallavalle, and Czerniecki, homecoming is designed to encourage BC community members to come together and celebrate BC. 

“In creating a Homecoming Court and aligning our Homecoming Week of events, we want to encourage the campus to come alive and take part (in large ways and small ways) in building community while also celebrating our school,” the three said.

One way of encouraging this school spirit is through themed dress-up days, the three said.

“The different themes are ways to have fun and celebrate different elements of the Boston College community,” Cooper Whitehead, Dallavalle, and Czerniecki said. “The different spirit days will add a bit of [flair] to the week that will set it apart from the rest of the semester.”

Leary and Wilson were not aware of the different events and themes for spirit week. Both said they like the idea of showing BC spirit, but were a bit confused about the dress-up days.

“I feel like something like a maroon and gold Monday makes sense, but a twin day feels like it would make a lot more sense in a high school setting when you’re all in the same building at all times,” Wilson said.

Maura Letendre, CSON ’23, also did not know much about the homecoming week events and thought the idea of a homecoming game pep rally seemed more like a high school event.

“[The pep rally] feels a little high school but again … we’ve never experienced that,” she said. “It would definitely be interesting to see what it’s like and how involved the student body gets into it.”

Letendre said she was skeptical at first about the Homecoming Dance, but she grew more open to the idea of going when she heard more about it.

“I saw that it was at a hotel in Boston, and everyone seemed pretty excited about it,” Letendre said. “I guess I got more excited about it. I don’t know if I’m going to go.”

Both Leary and Wilson said it would be fun to dress up and attend the dance, but neither of them could justify the price.

“Who doesn’t love dressing up and going out with their friends?” Wilson said. “It’s actually a really fun thing to do. It’s just that like $56 was a little steep for me personally.”

Cooper Whitehead, Dallavalle, and Czerniecki said Student Affairs looks forward to homecoming weekend and hopes to build on the tradition for years to come.

“People seem to be excited about this new enhancement to our traditions and are looking to rally around the themed days, events, and embrace the school spirit Boston College is known for,” they said. 

Both Leary and Wilson said they are most looking forward to the football game and their last homecoming at BC.

“Pretty much every kind of event like this as a senior definitely comes with a bit of bittersweetness,” Leary said.

October 2, 2022