Homecoming will include a more packed schedule this year as the campus tradition is combined with the inauguration of President Neil Theobald. Student organizations such as Main Campus Program Board, TSG and PRowl have been planning for months.
MCPB President Talia Banks said planning for Homecoming began last spring. The advanced planning comes as a necessity for bringing in big names such as B.o.B., Far East Movement and Stephen A. Smith, she said.
Working in a partnership, TSG and the student-run public relations firm PRowl have been organizing events to promote the Cherry On campaign.
Darin Bartholomew, Temple’s student body president, was a key backer behind the creation and original promotion of the school pride campaign. The term is a play on the famous British WWII slogan “Keep calm and carry on,” but has been adopted as a rallying phrase for Temple students and alumni.
To build on the promotion and define the phrase, PRowl was contacted through University Communications, then put in contact with TSG. Amanda White, account executive for PRowl, now meets with Bartholomew once a week to plan further promotional events.
“It’s great working together with someone who thinks the same way and you often agree with,” White said.
“But there’s times we disagree and have to brainstorm,” Bartholomew added.
Their most immediate event to plan for is the celebrations surrounding the inauguration of President Neil Theobald. As a result of the inauguration on Oct. 18, the weekly Cherry On sendoff of the football team will be held on the same date at the Bell Tower from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will include games and music.
Bartholomew and White are looking to establish further Cherry On promotions at this event as well.
For the future, White and Bartholomew aim to further Cherry On. They have arranged a deal with the university bookstore to offer discounts on certain Cherry On products. Also, with basketball season approaching, there’s opportunity to further promote the student pride campaign.
MCPB will also be involved in arranging elements of the celebration. Furthermore, it will host guest speakers and performers as well as holding the annual Homecoming pageant.
Starting around April, members of MCPB begin brainstorming events for Homecoming. Most of its work is done over the summer, including booking the performer.
Even if the performer agrees and has signed the contract, their identity is not released to the public until the event gets closer. Although MCPB members know who it will be, they’re required to keep it a secret, even from friends.
“We definitely get asked a lot and we get a lot of flak for it,” Banks said. “We have to come into this as an official and keep the integrity by staying quiet.”
The rapper B.o.B. along with the hip hop band Far East Movement will be performing in the Liacouras Center on Oct. 19. Stephen A. Smith, an ESPN commentator, will be speaking in Room 200 of the Student Center at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
These events are to be enjoyed by those attending, but those who bring them together said planning can be fun as well.
“It can get real stressful,” Banks said, “but it’s a total love at the same time.”
Marcus McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @Marcus.McCarthy6