It’s that time of year again, when the Roadrunner community comes together to show their school spirit for a special tradition: Homecoming and Family Weekend!

Homecoming is one of UTSA’s major events on campus that students, faculty, staff and family can enjoy. It is an event that gives students several opportunities to show their support and “get rowdy” for the men’s basketball team.

Homecoming begins on Thursday, Feb. 3 and end on Saturday, Feb. 5. It will begin with the search for “Where’s Rowdy?” event at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Sombrilla. Additional events scheduled to occur include: the Rowdy Rampage Fireworks Spectacular and Golf Cart Parade on Friday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. on the UTSA Track, the Homecoming Luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 12 p.m. in the UC Ballroom, the Tailgate Party beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday outside the Convocation Center and Parking Lot 5 and the UTSA Roadrunners vs. Lamar Cardinals basketball game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Convocation Center. Each of the Homecoming events will be free to attend for all students.

The UTSA Family Association will be presenting the Family of the Year Award winner during halftime of the game on Saturday and hosting the Family Appreciation Reception. The Family Association will also be hosting the Family Photo Opportunity from 2 PM to 3:30 PM on Saturday in the UC III, Galleria outside of the Grand Ballroom, where students will be able to take a photo with Rowdy and family or a group of friends.

Students are excited for Homecoming and are already making plans. Senior communication major, Bianca Garcia said, “I think it brings more of us together than usual.” She said, “the fact that people get excited and you can actually see the school spirit,” is the best aspect of Homecoming.

In addition to the events, organizations are participating in contests: Window Wars and the Golf Cart Parade. About 50 student organizations participate in these contests each year. The contests are a way for organizations to represent themselves as a group and engage in harmless competition against their fellow peers.

Decorating for the Golf Cart Parade will be at 8 PM on Thursday, Feb. 3 outside the Convocation Center. Comparing the two contests, Assistant Director of Student Activities John Montoya believes the golf cart decorating to be the greatest. “It’s an event that’s grown and students just have a lot of fun out there. It’s not just decorating golf carts – it’s a party. There’s free food, a DJ and it’s from eight to midnight,” Montoya said.

Each organization has different plans for the big event. Senior criminal justice major Sam Donnell of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity said they plan to participate in the Golf Cart Parade, host a chapter tailgate, host a coming out show, go to the game together and attend a toga party afterward.

Through homecoming history at UTSA the events have always focused on the men’s basketball team. 2011 marks the last year of this tradition, due to the acquirement of a football team. Next year’s homecoming will be entirely centered on football. As to plans for the new homecoming, not much can be reported.

Montoya said they are still discussing plans and right now there are many options in the air, even hosting activities downtown. Despite limited details regarding next year’s homecoming, Montoya said, “It will be exciting. I think it’ll draw a lot of people back to the school.”

In the meantime, take the opportunity to get involved on campus to support the basketball team and interact with the student body. Many students enjoy homecoming and agree the activities are worthwhile.

“It’s fun to come out with your organization to show support and unity. We wouldn’t miss it for the world; it’s the highlight of the year,” Donnell said.

For a full list and description of the events that will occur during homecoming week, visit UTSA’s website, https://www.utsa.edu/homecoming/.

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