That time has rolled around again for Georgia State, and this year’s Homecoming Week is Oct. 19 to Oct. 24. Although the annual celebration and the school is in its 103rd year, Georgia State is stepping into a new era.
With the consolidation of Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State, the inner-city institution has gained thousands of students. Georgia State is now the second largest university in Georgia.
“We are directly over homecoming, so we start from scratch,” Adriana Selci, Spirit and Traditions Chair, said. “Every year we do certain staple events, but it was up to our committee to plan how we do it, what the themes are. So from picking the theme, to what curtains are going to hang on the wall, to what mat is going to be on the floor, we’ve planned it out. We’ve talked about and discussed every aspect of what’s going to happen. I just want people to look at it [homecoming] like, ‘Wow this is what Georgia State does.’ Because we’re all one school; just different campuses.”
And the attention to detail shows. Every Georgia State campus will get a piece of the homecoming festivities, with a little something for everyone. Here’s the day-to-day breakdown.
“Good Morning Georgia State”: For coffee with a side of Panther Pride, Georgia State students need look no further than the “Good Morning Georgia State” breakfast. The feast is an annual Homecoming tradition, and always kicks off the approaching festivities with a free spread of donuts, danishes and everything in between. From 8 to 10 a.m., early risers can stop by Unity Plaza for a quick bite and a chance to catch up with fellow students, staff and faculty.
“Fall Fun Day” (Newton Campus): Across the I-75, Georgia State’s Newton campus will be experiencing a different kickoff to their #GSUnited Homecoming. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Newton’s courtyard will be home to a “Fall Fun Day,” a day-festival that will include everything from bubble soccer to outdoor painting. A few special guests will also be in attendance; Paramount Pictures will have a display and free tickets for their new Jack Reacher movie starring Tom Cruise. Cruise himself will not be in attendance, but the VIP list at any Georgia State event isn’t complete without a visit from Georgia State’s resident Panther, Pounce.
“Spirit Plaza”: Tuesday is the day festivities really get going, and is sandwiched by two Unity Plaza parties on the Atlanta campus. “Spirit Plaza” will take place first, from noon to 1 p.m., and will be an outdoor BBQ, with assorted lunch available and a live DJ to keep things ‘lit.’
The Block Party: The Block Party will spill from Unity Plaza into Gilmer Street. The circus carnival themed event will be one you won’t want to miss, with the promise of game trailers, carnival games, candy apples and cotton candy. The event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m.
Fall Fun Day (Alpharetta): From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, Alpharetta campus will be experiencing their own circus of an event: a Fall Fun Day complete with bull riding, giveaways and complimentary food.
Laugh your Paws off (Wild ‘N Out): Georgia State’s Sports Arena will be the stage for veteran celebrity comedian Nick Cannon and his equally hilarious entourage for a special performance of MTV’s Wild ‘N Out. Dubbed the “Laugh your paws off” comedy show, the iconic improv show will surely have every Panther doing just that. Wild ‘N Out has introduced the masses to some of the most popular comedians of our time, from favorites like Kevin Hart to Katt Williams. With a history like that, the show is guaranteed to be a good one.
Fall Fun Day (Clarkston and Dunwoody) & “Dip n Dab”: Clarkston and Dunwoody will be hosting their own versions of Fall Fun Days at their campus quads, with food, rides and music. Decatur’s campus will be throwing their “Dib n Dab” event. For the second annual year, students will be able to “wear blue and get fed,” all while creating their own DIY masks for the upcoming Royal Ball. For students unable to attend, The Signal’s got you; be sure to check out our DIY mask tips.
Golf Cart Parade: Georgia State student organizations will get to show out during the annual Golf Cart Parade. From noon to 1 p.m., Gilmer Street will be a highway of mini golf carts, with each one decorated under the care and creativity of each club to reflect their Panther spirit.
Whether one will be cheering on the sidelines or steering the wheel, the Golf Cart Parade is always an exciting time to see the rainbow of blue spirit that Georgia State has to offer, while featuring various clubs and interests.
Sports: In the GSU Sports Arena, “Tip-Off Madness,” will be several events all rolled into one: a football pep rally, basketball introductions, a dunk contest and a 3-point shootout. To finish the night out, one lucky fan will win a grand prize for first place in an audience game of knockout.
Royal Homecoming Ball: This year’s ball will take place at Americas-Mart, under the classic Phantom of the Opera theme. All Panthers can dance the night away and celebrate the legacy of Georgia State, all while creating their own.
Tailgate: Homecoming week will come to a close, but not without a bang. All of Saturday’s festivities will be centered around the Georgia Dome, with tailgating at West Plaza and the Panthers facing off against UT Martin at 3:30 p.m. Halftime will be just exciting as the game, the moment everyone has been waiting for: the 2016 Royal Court will be crowned.
A SCHOOL UNITED
Even with the growing pains of becoming a larger student body, Georgia State never sagged under the weight of the consolidation. Instead, as Georgia State has grown in numbers, it has also grown in spirit.
Underneath the homecoming theme #GSUnited, Panthers have linked arms and come together like never before.
“The hashtag #GSUnited is a very good way to bring Georgia State together, because we’re a very diverse population of students. We have everywhere from 18 to 65 year olds, black, white and Asians,” Candice Onukwue, Spotlight’s Panther Connections Chair, said. “It’s a nice way for every student to feel important, and to come together. If we don’t come together for the whole school year we can come together for a week. And just be united, have fun together, and enjoy everyone’s company and culture.”
Correction: The Best Dance Crew event has been removed due to its rescheduling to the Spring semester.