Each year, Homecoming floods the campus with old people and free stuff, the latter being a little more exciting. And OK, we’ll admit: Some of us went to Homecoming events mostly–alright, only–because they advertised free food, free entertainment…or somehow used the word free in conjunction with a noun. But with this week’s unimpressive turnout, we’ve been left to question the philosophy which generally guides our Homecoming experience: Whether the pursuit of the free stuff is worth it anymore.

First, the Sushi Social at Alumni House on Tuesday. Boasting both sushi and socializing, but delivering neither. OK, so we got there 40 minutes late because we had class, but this was no excuse for the decimated trays and the awkward remnants of mingling that ensued. The fallout from a sushi war, the dismembered and indistinguishable remains of fish parts didn’t resemble even a distant relative of sushi and the five or so people in a cluster in the corner didn’t quite constitute socializing. It looked like everyone else had the same reaction to free eats: get in, feign interest, get sushi, get out.

The Dance and Casino night on Thursday, probably the largest (and most generous) of the Homecoming events kept it classy with endless platters of various breads and cheeses, but because of “funding issues,” only one iPod shuffle (come on, not even a full-sized iPod?) was given away, along with other prizes conveniently wrapped up in cellophane. We asked them what was inside but they claimed not to know, leaving us to wonder whether the prize was just the cellophane itself. After racking up almost $10,000 in faux dough and some glory at the Blackjack table, we were forced to stay the entire duration of the event in order to collect our prize at the drawing. Four hours later, we walked away iPod-less, despite putting over 10 grand in tickets all into the iPod drawing box. At least we got to spend some quality time reliving our high school days on the dance floor (ah, the days of the high school formal, how we don’t miss thee).

We should have known the Fenton’s ice cream giveaway on Friday, which promised “gallons and gallons of free ice cream” to be given away, was too good to be true. Picturing ourselves carrying away gallons of various flavors of ice cream and wondering how we’d refrigerate them, we were shocked find that the reward for waiting in the 20 or so minute line wrapping almost all the way to Doe library was a teensy plastic cup of ice cream, about the size of those sample cups at Yogurt Park. Apparently the gallons were to be distributed amongst a bazillion plastic cups. Right. Not willing to wait this long in line even for Space Mountain, we turned to the free coffee table nearby for consolation. Cup in hand, we were sternly told that the beverages were only for Alumni. Oh yeah, that’s why we have Homecoming.

Guess we’ll have to wait a few more years for that cup of coffee. And so concluded a less than impressive week of giveaways. We’re guessing the economy’s probably behind this somehow. Well, at least the old people, er, Alumni, had fun, we hope.

Image Source: Mc-Q under Creative Commons

Albert said:
Oct 6, 2008 at 5:12 pm

The free BBQ was pretty nice. Lots of free food and small lines.