Northern Iowan

2018 Homecoming kickoff

EMMA KOSSAYIAN, Staff Writer

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Students braced the chilly fall evening on Monday to attend the Panthers Homecoming Kickoff on Lawther Field.

The event jumpstarted the homecoming week with the crowning of the Panther Royalty and a Pride Cry contest between student organizations.

To begin the kickoff, Student Body President Drew Stensland greeted the bundled-up crowd and got students excited for the different UNI sporting events during homecoming week.

The UNI Women’s soccer team and volleyball team then announced their upcoming games.

The Panther Pacers then got up to talk about their upcoming Amazing Race event on Wednesday. The UNI cheerleaders and dance team followed up with an exciting Panther pride show.

Before the Pride Cry and crowning of the royalty, President Nook took the stage to share in the excitement of the upcoming week.

“Be safe, stay warm and enjoy homecoming!” Nook said.

The students all cheered as the homecoming court graced the stage. With equal glee for each candidate, the royalty was announced.

Siraj Acharya, a senior psychology and sociology major, was crowned first. After years of admiring the court, he finally joined and won.

“Finally, my senior year, I was like, if I don’t do it this year, I am never going to have that chance again to live that full Panther pride,” he said.

Acharya said he was humbled by the win and that he believed everyone on the court was equally worthy.

“It is such a good feeling to win,” he added. “Hopefully I can do justice for the crown.”

Next to be crowned was Megan Lenstra, a senior communication-theater teaching major. Lenstra was at a loss for words and filled with joy.

“There are so many people, memories and opportunities that are woven into the crown,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here today without support from family, friends, faculty, staff, student orgs and endless opportunities UNI has provided me. My crown is not complete without them. I’m forever grateful for UNI’s community and opportunities. I’m so grateful and overjoyed to represent UNI.”

With the royalty crowned, the Pride Cry competition commenced. Groups such as Dance Marathon, Noehren Hall Senate, CATS, SAA and many sororities and fraternities joined together to show off their school spirit. Some had matching outfits or costumes, but all cheered for the same thing: Panther pride.

After all the groups performed, three judges choose three groups that would move on to the finals at the pep rally on Friday night at 8 p.m. Many groups incorporated the homecoming theme, “There’s no place like homecoming,” rewriting famous songs from “The Wizard of Oz” to match the theme.

As the judges deliberated, the crowd got on its feet to take part in the “Interlude” dance. The entire field was filled with students, faculty and alumni dancing with chilly legs and arms.

Finally, the crowd silenced to hear the finalists. In no specific order, the groups to move on and update their pride cry were Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon, Dance Marathon, and Alpha Sigma Tau.

Ethan Tanner, a freshman majoring in global marketing was part of the Noehren Hall Senate group. He was covered in panther pride; his arms were covered in gold glitter and his hair in purple sparkles.

“I’m only a freshman this year, so I didn’t know what to expect of college homecoming,” Tanner said. “But I thought it was really neat watching all of the groups and what they did and watching the royalty get crowned. For the first day, it’s pretty great.”

After all the groups performed, the judges chose three to move on to the finals at the pep rally on Friday night. Many groups incorporated the homecoming theme, “There’s no place like homecoming,” rewriting famous songs from “The Wizard of Oz” to match the theme.

As the judges deliberated, the crowd got on its feet to take part in the “Interlude” dance. The entire field was filled with students, faculty and alumni dancing in the chilly air.

Finally, the crowd silenced to hear the finalists. In no specific order, the groups to move on and update their pride cry were Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon, Dance Marathon, and Alpha Sigma Tau.

Ethan Tanner, a freshman majoring in global marketing was part of the Noehren Hall Senate group. He was covered in Panther gear: his arms had gold glitter and his hair purple sparkles.

“I’m only a freshman this year, so I didn’t know what to expect of college homecoming,” Tanner said. “But I thought it was really neat watching all of the groups and what they did and watching the royalty get crowned. For the first day, it’s pretty great.”

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2018 Homecoming kickoff