The students behind the spirit

Without pomp and circumstance, nearly 20 leaders came from afar and encircled the round table, each preparing a festival fit for a king.

They could have ended with NASCAR simulators, but Nadine Mompremier, the royal chairperson for Homecoming 2006, didn’t stop there.

With full autonomy, the sophomore law and business major decided the homecoming queen and king shouldn’t strictly resemble a popularity contest nor pander to upperclassmen.

Mompremier implemented the first-ever homecoming pageant, melded crowns to fit a “prince” and “princess” with less than 24 credits and added to the criteria.

“I remember when I was a freshman and I saw a sign for homecoming and I was like ‘Ooo homecoming queen! I want to run for homecoming queen,'” Mompremier said.

“[Other girls] felt that they wanted to start off on the right foot. It’s important they get off to the right foot rather than waiting til’ the last minute.”

Mompremier is a member of the first student-run homecoming committee, an idea deemed by Juan Galeano as the “brainchild” of Temple Student Government’s president Raysean Hogan.

“I think that will show because students
know what students want more than administrators,” said Juan Galeano, Vice President of TSG and coordinator of the service project “1K Help for a Day.”

“I think the product that we’re giving this year is a lot different, a lot better than previous years,” said Hogan, a senior and director of homecoming.

Beside the revamped cast of coordinators,
differences include the events.

To kick off homecoming week Oct. 21, “1K Help for a Day” aspires to motivate campus organizations to come together, producing a potential record of 1,000 students, and reach out to North Philadelphia areas in need. Colors have been swimming around Danielle Brady’s head all summer. The spirit chairperson is responsible for decorating the campus with various banners, flyers and many, many balloons. She is more psyched than winded.

“I love it. I’m like ‘Colors, balloons, what can we do!'” said Brady, a sophomore political science major.

“I think there’s lack of spirit and blowing up balloons is to put it simply, but it’s more [accurate] to think of what’s going to get people interested, and you see all these colors and the effort put into making this university look different for a change.”

Prior to this year, various departments
and alumni were responsible for organizing homecoming events. Temple Police’s Capt. Eileen Bradley, an adviser of the committee, acknowledged having doubts about the students being able to congregate in the summer, but was proven wrong. “This time some of these kids started in the spring and some of these people drove down for hours, some people from New York, they came down during the summer.”

Bradley said “fresh ideas” are many and ambition is contagious. Hogan, as well as homecoming chairperson Dorsey Spencer,
keeps expectations high.

“This homecoming committee as a whole needs to push everybody towards being at the Linc [Financial Field for the Temple football game],” Hogan said. “I know we said 50,000 [people] at the Linc, so let’s act like we’re trying to get 50,000 people down there.”

A $100,000 homecoming budget was earmarked from TSG’s overall account and the money has gone fast. Brady said her big dreams were curtailed a bit.

“OK, you have 35,000 students in the university. ‘Here’s $10,000. Go ahead and decorate it,'” Brady said.

“And you’re like, ‘Um.’ You don’t know where to go.”

Brady said the biggest challenge, though, has been trying to agree on a meeting time for everybody who is spread so thin already.

“Everyone in this committee is involved
in other facets of the university. So this isn’t our only responsibility.” she said.

“This is a main focus, but you have to work around this organization and that organization.”

Steve Wood can be reached at

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