Annual homecoming festivities marked the beginning of the spring 2014 semester yesterday. While some students were finding classes and purchasing textbooks, others participated in activities in the black-and-gold decorated commons.
A “University Student Commons 30th Anniversary Happy Hour”, a T-shirt swap in the Virginia ballrooms, and RAMNADO, a trivia and laser tag event sponsored by VCU residential life and Housing, were a few of the homecoming activities that began on the first day of classes.
“I think it’s great, I like the fact that (Homecoming is) the first week back because there’s a lot of excitement happening with the first week of classes, and I think the homecoming committee and students have done a great job of putting together events that appeal to a lot of people,” said university president Michael Rao.
RAMNADO took place in the Commonwealth and Virginia ballrooms from 6-10 p.m. on Monday. The Homecoming Committee contracted the company EC Events LLC, which provided an indoor laser tag area where six students could compete at a time.
“The students are really into it, seriously,” said Hector Carey, an EC Events employee working with the laser tag game. “There are no prizes, just a high score and you have bragging rights for each round.”
Students could also compete in groups of four during trivia. There were three rounds, and prizes were awarded to each member of the winning team including NOOK reading tablets and speaker sets. In each 30-minute round, students had 20 seconds to answer each question without using their cell phones.
“There are a ton of events that we do all week,” said Chelsea Thorton, marketing chair for the homecoming committee. “It’s a lot but it’s really fun, you get to meet a lot of people.”
Monday night’s events also included a photo booth and slam-dunk contest. Thornton said over 350 students signed up to volunteer for homecoming week, and she coordinates approximately 50 students at a time.
“When everything comes together, all the decorations and events, it’s really cool seeing everything happen,” said Thorton, a senior creative advertising and fashion merchandising double major. “It’s stressful but a happy stressful. You feel important.”
Other events this week include RAMS Xplosion from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday in the Commons plaza, and RAM Xcitement from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday in the Break Point Games & Lounge. RAMS Xplosion will feature a video game truck and RAM Xcitement will host food and music for students.
All homecoming events are free and are funded through VCU student activities fees.
“Some events are obviously bigger, like the concert and all the festivities on Saturday, but I think it’s great that students are coming out even just on the first day back,” Rao said.