WKU’s homecoming adjusts because of the pandemic

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Western Kentucky University’s homecoming is looking a little different this year, but the Hilltoppers are still showing their school pride. 

“Homecoming to me is just bringing the spirit of Western to life,” said WKU student Bridges Cunningham. 

Usually it’s a huge weekend to celebrate alumni, family and friends coming back to the area. But most of the events went virtual because of the pandemic. 

“We’ve done video competitions, social media competitions, a virtual mask bracket challenge, so we’ve tried to keep people engaged, but virtually engaged,” said Director of Student Activities, Org & Leadership Dr. Charley Pride. 

Many were disappointed that the anticipated parade was cancelled. But school staff knew it would draw a large turnout, even though it was outside. 

“We had some folks ask, it would be outside, why couldn’t we do it? But we still would be in groups. We have a large following of the parade so it would be tons of people out watching the parade,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Ginny Hensley. 

One event that they are able to still hold in person is the crowing of the homecoming queen Friday night. The event will be socially distanced in the football stadium with no fans, but will be streamed online at the game Saturday. 

Despite these changes, Hensley says she is proud of the students’ reaction to these times.

“They have responded to homecoming activities the way they always do-with a smile behind their mask,” said Hensley.