By Felix Cunningham
In the city of Greater Baton Rouge, Southern University is known for its homecoming soiree, which backs up traffic from the “hump” and fills the campus with the scent of tailgate food and the electricity of Jaguar spirit.
The homecoming celebration allows alumni to return to their former collegiate stomping grounds and reminisce on the days of old, in which the “yard” trickled with people that paraded the “strip”.
For the undergraduates, homecoming is the time to release some stress after midterms and participate in some of the festivities later in the week, especially the tailgating, in which every open plot on campus is filled with a grill and plenty of welcoming smiles.
Firing up the grill becomes second nature during this time, as nostalgia fills the air and the scent of home gets in the fray.
People come from all over the nation to take part in the festivities.
The yard was blaring with music, laughter, and enjoyment on last Saturday, and compared to other places, Southern University has been described as a place where fans become family.
For first year Southern University alumnus Joseph Alexander, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to Southern as long as you possess the Jaguar spirit.
“Unlike other universities, Southern homecoming is for the Baton Rouge community to enjoy everything we have to offer and initiate in the spirit called homecoming,” Alexander said.
Everyone is invited to the homecoming events to enjoy what Southern University truly has to offer.
The events during the week include a team unveiling, family oriented- parades, artist galleries, beauties blazing the stage, the 85th Miss Southern Coronation, music blared through the Mini Dome by music phenomena, alumni breakfast, pep rallies, and a hangover brunch to finish the cause.
Most importantly, homecoming on the Bluff was a time to watch the SWAC matchup between the Southern and Prairie View A&M football teams.
The football game can be described by a small rendition of the Southern University Fight Song: Southern University, defenders of the gold and blue.
Southern lost the bout with Prairie View 47-42, but despite the loss, Jaguar fans still enjoyed all the festivities homecoming had to offer.
For first year alumna Keyandra Hall, homecoming is a different experience now, being on the other side of the fence.
“As an alumnus, it is fun to come home,” Hall said. “Southern is home to me, win or lose, and I would love for anyone to visit my home and enjoy.”
When asked to compare LSU and Southern Homecoming, alumna Dianca Lights mentioned that there are no differences, but that everyone is just out to have fun.
“We all want the same thing: food, drink, fun, and football, so there are no differences, just different perspectives,” Lights said.
Lights also said that homecoming is a come one, come all affair.
“Homecoming is for everyone, no matter who they affiliate with,” said Lights.
Southern University homecoming will always be home to those who want to take off of work and enjoy themselves by forgetting about the trials and tribulations during the week. Picking up a drink and partaking of BBQ is only the first step.
The next step is to bond with everyone and immerse yourself in what it means to truly be a Jaguar.