Homecoming has officially begun, and it looks like it is going to be “out of this world" with the return of the popular lip sync battle along with four other events for competing organizations.
There are five events spread out over the course of Homecoming Week. They were planned by QuadWorks, Mercer's student programming board.
This year’s Homecoming theme is "Planet Mercer: Lightyears Ahead." Dynahsty James, a member of the QuadWorks Special Events Committee, said that they looked towards current events when deciding on a theme and found inspiration in one of their favorite films.
“When we were choosing the theme, we were looking forward to the new Space Jam,” James said. “We also loved the original movie so we based our theme around that. We also think that Mercer is out of this world.”
The festivities began on Monday with an annual banner competition and an “Alien Abduction” activity find. Each participating group painted a banner to hang in the Connell Student Center. In the activity find, teams of three to five worked together to find clues across campus.
The winners of the banner contest were Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta in the large bracket, Wesley of Macon, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) in the medium bracket and the Music and Lyrics Club in the small bracket.
On Tuesday is a movie night titled “Under the Stars." Fitting for its inspiration of the theme, QuadWorks will be hosting “Space Jam” on Cruz Plaza at 8 p.m. Participating groups receive points for the percentage of their team that attends the movie night, but it is also open to the rest of campus.
Thursday is the Space Race, also on Cruz Plaza at 6:30 p.m. The event is subtitled “Among Us,” after the space-themed mobile app.
“We picked these events because we wanted to do something fun and fresh but also bring back the classics,” James said.
The last day of QuadWorks events is Friday and features the return of the lip sync battle.
“Lip sync competition was suspended last year due to COVID concerns with people needing to rehearse beforehand and being on stage together,” James said. “With the vaccine and campus COVID rates, we felt comfortable going back to a Lip Sync competition this year.”
The lip sync battle is at 7 p.m. on Friday on Cruz Plaza, followed by a pep rally and the presentation of the homecoming court.
There were originally 27 nominees for homecoming court this year across 13 different teams, which is the highest number of participants since 2017. Following the interview stage, there are now 16 candidates — eight women and eight men — that will be voted on Wednesday by the student body. Half will become finalists at the Friday pep rally, and the winners will be announced at the football game Saturday.
Along with the homecoming events that QuadWorks is putting on, the Office of Alumni Services is hosting numerous events for alumni between Friday and Sunday. While some of the events are open to all alumni, many are restricted to alumni from different schools, classes or organizations, but more information is available on the homecoming website.
“It’s also so nice to be a part of planning the festivities because we got to have a hand in this big celebration of coming home,” James said. “All these students and alum have found a home at Mercer and in its community. We’re truly so blessed to be able to be a part of that celebration.”