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From Toon-Sync to Cruz Plaza’s Pep Rally: Homecoming 2023

Mercer students gather to celebrate Homecoming 2023 through the annual student organization lip sync and Mercer University pep rally.

<p>Mercer University students watch the Homecoming 2023 fireworks on Cruz Plaza following the annual pep rally on Nov. 10, 2023. </p>

Mercer University students watch the Homecoming 2023 fireworks on Cruz Plaza following the annual pep rally on Nov. 10, 2023.

In the past few years, Mercer’s annual lip-sync battle and university pep rally have become a staple of the Homecoming week. Usually occurring the night before the Homecoming game, the lip sync battle and pep rally serves as a way for students to show their school spirit and have some friendly competitive fun. 

This year the lip sync was titled “toon-sync” in order to coordinate with the 2023 Homecoming theme, "Toby Tunes." The week’s festivities were centered around classic cartoons, such as Mickey Mouse and Spongebob. 

Students were encouraged to create groups to partake in different events in teams larger than 6 people. For the lipsync, members of the group needed to prepare a dance and music for a five-minute performance. 

Due to the differing sizes of the groups, they were put into different categories. The small group category consisted of Mercer Astronomy Student Association and the Writing Club, who competed against the Organization of Black Students, ASA and CaribSA. 

The medium group teams were Beta Upsilon Chi and Kappa Alpha Psi, SGA and MerServe and MU Miracle, Minority Mentors and Opportunity Scholars.  

The large group competitors consisted of Alpha Delta Pi and SAE, Lambda Chi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Sigma Rho and Phi Delta Theta, Phi Mu, Pi Kappa Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Tau Omega and Chi Omega and Sigma Nu and Alpha Gamma Delta. 

Students of Phi Mu, Pi Kappa Phi, and Kappa Alpha perform a Disney-inspired lip sync at the annual lip sync battle on Nov. 10, 2023.

The lip sync was hosted by previous homecoming king and queen Michelly Pereira and Bennett Cate. 

Each team of organizations performed routines paired with different songs from cartoon shows and movies, such as “The Lion King," “Phineas and Ferb” and “Spongebob Squarepants." The groups often opted to have costumes and props to further their performances. 

It was later stated that the winners of the lipsync would be announced at the pep rally following the lip sync event. Students were greeted outside Willingham with light-up sticks that glowed Mercer orange as they walked towards Cruz Plaza. 

At Cruz Plaza, Mercer’s marching band, cheerleaders, and dance team performed for students while they gathered for a presentation honoring Mercer's Aspire Campaign. 

The Aspire campaign started during homecoming 2014 and was created to promote new developments for both the campus and students, according to The Den. The campaign has raised the university's endowment to over $503 million and plans to end in December after surpassing its original goal of $400 million. The lip-sync winners were announced following the Aspire presentation. 

The small group winner was the Organization of Black Students, ASA and Carbsa. The medium group winner was SGA and MerServe. Finally, the large group winner was Alpha Tau Omega and Chi Omega

The Homecoming Eve celebrations concluded with an array of refreshments for students, faculty, and alumni to enjoy while they viewed the Homecoming firework display, promoting the importance of bonds and community that Homecoming creates. 

Maura Rutledge

Maura Rutledge ‘25 is a Journalism student at Mercer University. She has previously worked for The Cluster as an Arts and Culture and News reporter, and currently works as the Managing Editor. She enjoys thrifting, fashion, reading and writing in her spare time. 


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