The week-long celebration of Homecoming this year will take place from Oct. 14 to 21 and will feature many new changes.
Opposed to last year’s Homecoming concert, students will now have to purchase a ticket in order to get access to the event. Student tickets will be available for $12 (including fees), one student-guest tickets for $18 and non-student tickets for $25 (plus fees). Students will have to present their USF ID with their student ticket at the entrance.
According to Joshua Wilson, Associate Director of Center for Student Involvement (CSI), the change regarding student tickets is due to the CSI recently receiving a significant cut to its budget through the Activity & Service Recommendation Committee (ASRC) budget process.
Student Government (SG), recognizing that CSI would have less funding for the Homecoming Concert as a result of the budget cuts it imposed, decided to supplement the cost with an additional $30,000 in order to sustain the event.
“Many schools across the U.S. charge students for large-scale concerts,” Wilson said. “Although it is a new concept for current USF students, it is a widely-used practice among student-led offices who plan events. To my knowledge, USF has not charged students for this concert in, at least, the last 6 years.”
CSI announced on Sept. 20 that this year’s headliner performing at the annual Homecoming Concert is the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd. The duo is well known for their hit songs Black Beatles — the same song used for the viral mannequin challenge — and No Type.
The University of Florida is hosting Walk the Moon this year and is charging students $25 for tickets. Florida State University, also hosting Rae Sremmurd, is charging students $22.
All the money collected from the ticket sales will be directly used to cover costs for the event, including the cost for the performer.
At the beginning of September, CSI sent out a survey allowing students to choose their preferred performers. According to Wilson, more than 2,700 students voted in the survey, where, in the end, the majority chose Rae Sremmurd.
Feedback regarding the chosen artist to perform at the homecoming concert has been mixed but fairly positive overall, according to Wilson.
Rushita Bachu, a freshman majoring in computer science, expressed her excitement following the headline announcement.
“This is my first homecoming at USF and I’m really excited because they are such hype rappers,” Bachu said. “They can get everyone lit.”
Julian Jimenez, a freshman majoring in advertising, said Rae Scremmurd was the best option among others.
“I love Rae and they were the best option,” Jimenez said. “I’m really excited and can’t wait to go to the concert.”
On the other hand, Maryanna Botto, a sophomore majoring in environmental science and policy, is not satisfied with the chosen artists.
“I’m not too happy about the choice for the Homecoming performer, I wish they chose someone more universally liked,” Botto said. “All I know about Rae Sremmurd is that they made the mannequin challenge song. I probably won’t go because it’s not someone I’m really interested in.”
The concert was not the only event to have changes at this year’s Homecoming, Wilson said.
One of the other changes includes the start time for some of the events throughout the week. This year, the carnival will start at 3 p.m. instead of at noon as it did in the past.
The Running of the Bulls Homecoming Parade will start at 7 p.m., 15 minutes later than years past.
In an effort to enhance participation of students in homecoming activities, CSI added a new event called Teams Tuesday, where students will compete for bragging rights in games such as corn hole, kickball and flag football.
Victoria Celis, a sophomore majoring in business advertising, works at CSI as the planning director for the Campus Traditions Board and said that the expectations for the event this year are really high, both from students and from the people organizing it.
“I hope students have a great time and appreciate the opportunity to do something different and release the stress from classes,” Celis said. “After all this is all for them and to show the great university we have.”
In addition, CSI combined the kickoff event with the Stampede Comedy Show, compared to previous years where both were separate events. According to Wilson, this change is expected to improve attendance and student’s excitement.
“Every year the team considers how we can elevate the programs and enhance their success,” Wilson said. “The intent is that the combination of these two events will provide for increased attendance and excitement to kick off Homecoming Week.”