Virtual Homecoming Offers New Opportunities for Seattle U Community


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle University is holding Homecoming events on a virtual platform in order to safely celebrate and keep community spirits high during an unprecedented year. Events will take place starting Nov. 9 and will run through Nov. 13, and are available on the Homecoming webpage.

The website features information about this year’s Homecoming Court, past photos of Seattle U Homecomings and the various activities offered for students via Zoom this year. The new changes to the website incorporate activities for both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as information for alumni regarding reunion events.

According to Homecoming Committee Member and Assistant Director for the Center of Student Involvement (CSI) De’Andre Jones, this is the second year the portal has been used for Homecoming festivities. Jones has been a central figure in planning this year’s events from a student perspective.

In the past, the marketing surrounding the event  emphasized events for students and information about Court members. With the virtual format, the updated website reflects all aspects of this year’s virtual proceedings. Jones highlighted the upcoming events and the hope to successfully bring the Seattle U community together.

“We’re really trying to make [Homecoming] more accessible,” Jones said. “I think the messaging has been a lot clearer to students, so you all know what you’re getting up front.” 

 The Homecoming Committee includes representatives from multiple departments to ensure a balance of voices representing all parts of the community, including members from the Alumni Association, representatives from Athletics and the Red Zone Hall Association. 

“It’s great because we get to hear different perspectives and continue remaining innovative around the ways that we try to…keep the traditions that we have on campus going, but also try to think of creative ways that we do things differently,” Jones said.

In preparation for this year’s festivities, Jones shared that the Homecoming Committee reflected heavily on past student feedback, which encouraged them to “centralize the messaging” and scale back in terms of how many different experiences were provided for students. 

This year’s Homecoming has also been an opportunity to practice increased outreach to members of the student body who have been unable to participate in such due to scheduling difficulties. 

Fourth-year humanities major Ally Choates is one of the athletes chosen for Homecoming Court. Choates has not been heavily involved in Homecoming activities at Seattle U in the past years due to her busy schedule as a student athlete. 

“I think it’s hard for student athletes to be involved in lots of things on campus because our time is really limited,” Choates said. “I think that contributes to there not being much student athlete involvement in Homecoming.” 

As part of an effort to include more of the student body, this year’s activities include multiple athletics events where student athletes and other students can connect.

“I think this is a good opportunity for us to realize we’re all the same. We all go to the same school, we all have our own stressors, and we all like to have fun. I think it’s an opportunity for us to come together,” Choates said. 

Another member of the Homecoming Court, fourth-year math major Jake Goguen, is also a student athlete. Similar to  Choates, he senses a “divide” that extends beyond after school activities like Homecoming. This was the first year where Goguen felt the advertising surrounding Homecoming was targeted specifically toward student athletes and brought forward intentionally. 

 “Something we’ve all noticed as athletes at Seattle U is definitely a divide between athletes and the normal student body,” Goguen said. 

Seattle U’s online Homecoming will feature a week’s worth of Spirit days celebrated through social media. The week’s crowning moment concluding Homecoming festivities Nov. 14 will be a Homecoming Court Bingo game hosted by Alexis Michelle, a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.