Homecoming kick-off & pride cry

This Monday, Oct. 2, the Homecoming Kick-Off was held in the Maucker Union. Twelve teams competed in UNI’s annual Pride Cry competition.


The Maucker Union was flooded with hundreds of students ready to show their Panther Pride through songs and dance moves on Monday, Oct. 2.

Monday’s Homecoming Kick-Off event played host to UNI’s annual Pride Cry competition, which consisted of 12 groups of students from different student organizations who performed a song and dance routine.

Each Pride Cry group competed to be one of three finalists to perform on Friday, Oct. 6, at the Homecoming Pep Rally in the West Gym.

The three finalists are The Movement, Camp Adventure and SAA & CATS.

“I went last year but I didn’t really know anyone, so this year was much more entertaining,” said Abbey Browning, sophomore elementary education major. “I will try to go every year because I think it is a fun way to kick off Homecoming week and get everyone excited to cheer the Panthers on. I might even participate in it next year!”

Pride Cry has several rules, one of which stated that no sound equipment could be used. However, each group had to have one song based around the Star Wars-inspired Homecoming theme of “Panthers Awaken,” as well as the UNI fight song. This meant that not only were students dancing, but singing as well.

The emcee for the event was comedian Peter Lee. The crowd of students in attendance cheered on the various Pride Cry groups, as chatter and laughter filled the Union in between each performance.

As Lee announced each competing group, the group member, as well as their supporters, would yell and cheer as loud as they could, adding to the school spirit on display.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Phi used a confetti cannon at the end of their performance, eliciting an excited response from the crowd. Though each group did not have props like a confetti canon, they all had something special to contribute to the event.

“I liked how much our group got into our performance,” said Tanner Smith, freshman history major and participant in Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Xi Delta’s performance. “It really allowed for practicing to be really fun and I met a lot of new people from it.”

Each group that participated appeared to be enthusiastic to be performing. The energy was apparent through dance moves, laughing and smiling faces, props and costumes.

Aside from the confetti canon that Sig Ep and APhi used, the International Student Association did their entire performance as the Galactic Empire, with one person completely dressed as Darth Vader and the rest of the group dressed as Stormtroopers — all in an effort to tie into the “Panthers Awaken” Homecoming theme.

“People who are wanting to perform should be ready to get hyped because you’re going to have to, or else you’ll look like the odd one out of your group,” Smith said.

All performers of The Movement, a hip hop dance student organization, appeared unified as they competed at Monday’s Kick-Off event. They stayed in synch while showing their Panther Pride through their dance routine.

“I loved the Movement’s performance. They were amazing!” said Jennie McClain, senior communication studies major. “I wish I could dance like them! I also loved hearing everyone change the words to songs to fit the theme.”

Some students, like Jamie Crispin, senior anthropology and criminology double major, found the event as her way to become connected to her university all four years.

“I did Pride Cry my freshman and sophomore years. We actually made it to finals my freshman year,” Crispin said. “I would have participated last year as a junior, but I was on the Campus Activities Board and helped coordinate Pride Cry, so obviously I couldn’t compete — that would be unfair. It’s a fun way to get involved in Homecoming week!”