Homecoming FAQs 2015
OCTOBER 16-18, 2015
To assist you with your planning and answer some questions you might have about Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, we have created this list. If you still have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of University Relations - Alumni and Parents at 800.960.6363. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time).
sELECTION OF THE hOMECOMING & rEUNION wEEKEND Date
Why has the date for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend changed?
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend was originally planned for late October, but Formula One later announced the Austin race would take place the same weekend. Therefore, hotel availability would have been very limited and costly for that weekend.
How was the weekend selected?
University administration and members of the Alumni Council considered all weekends in the fall with strong preference toward one with a home Football Game. Unfortunately, it was determined that the 2015 Football home schedule conflicted with the start of the school year, observation of religious and national holidays and the Formula One race weekend. The University attempted to switch away football games to a home game, but was unsuccessful in rescheduling with other schools. Alumni Council members were asked to assist with the selection of an alternative date. The Alumni Council hopes that the October 16-18 date will allow for a beautiful weekend with as many guests as possible as we come together as a community to celebrate Southwestern’s 175th Anniversary.
What can I look forward to during the weekend?
The weekend will focus on the University’s 175th Anniversary, a historic celebration for Southwestern! You will not want to miss Saturday night’s 175th Anniversary Party. It will be one for the record books! Some favorite events will also return (e.g., Picnic, Parade, Homecoming Hospitality House, receptions, class reunions, etc.).
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Why is the Homecoming Parade on the Georgetown Square?
We received such positive feedback from the past two years by having the Homecoming Parade on the Square that we’re doing it all again this year! (Some of our alumni might remember the days when the parade was held on the Square.)
Will I have opportunities to visit with University faculty and staff?
Yes! Homecoming and Reunion Weekend is meant to be for ALL members of the Southwestern community, including faculty and staff (current and retired). They are always invited to participate in the weekend’s festivities. There are usually faculty and staff sightings at the Homecoming Picnic and the Homecoming Hospitality House. Encourage your favorite faculty and staff members to attend by asking them to meet you!
What is planned for the 175th Anniversary Party?
We are the only college or university in the state celebrating its 175th Anniversary, so we’re going to throw the party of the year! The entire Southwestern and Georgetown communities are invited to attend. There will be live music, by our very own Walker Lukens ’09, food trucks, caricatures by Kevin Middleton ’83, games and activities. Plus, we will announce the winners of several unique raffle items. Each person who pre-registers to attend Homecoming will receive one raffle ticket and all attendees have the opportunity to purchase additional raffle tickets for $1 on Saturday, Oct. 17.
I have children. Is there childcare available during the weekend?
Yes, child care can be provided on Saturday evening by Nanny Poppinz, a licensed child care provider at All Things Kids located on the Georgetown Square. You are encouraged to contact them directly to make arrangements. Their phone number is 512.868.2659. All Things Kids is located at 703 S. Main Street, Georgetown, TX 78628.
Why is SING! not on the schedule?
SING! has moved to a spring program to allow for greater student participation both at Homecoming and with SING! itself. Please join us for SING!, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. Not to worry; SING! is still one of our favorite Southwestern traditions.
To pre-register by Thursday, Oct. 8, please visit our secure online form.
Why are there registration fees?
The pre-registration fee is $5 per person (or $10 per person paid onsite for those who do not pre-register by Oct. 8). The cost of hosting over 1500 alumni, parents, students and other guests on campus is not covered by ticket fees alone. Charging a registration fee helps offset Homecoming expenses, and, therefore, spends fewer University budget dollars. Please note: Children 18 years old and under, currently enrolled Southwestern students, current or retired Southwestern faculty and staff do not need to pay registration fees.
What is the pre-registration deadline?
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend attendees can pre-register through our secure online form or by calling the Office of University Relations - Alumni and Parents (800.960.6363) through Thursday, Oct. 8. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time). Please note: Pre-registrations will not be taken (online, by phone or in person) after Oct. 8 at midnight After this deadline, attendees can register onsite starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, in the Red & Charline McCombs Campus Center. The $10 onsite registration fee will apply to adults.
Why is pre-registering so important?
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend brings a lot of people to campus and requires advanced planning to make sure the weekend goes smoothly for University guests and visitors. Pre-registering helps University staff in securing enough food, drinks, tables and chairs for events.
What is the benefit of pre-registering?
It will make your Homecoming experience a lot easier and more convenient, not to mention that it is less expensive than registering onsite ($5 savings per person). A pre-registration packet (which includes printed name tags, event tickets and other weekend materials) will be ready for you to pick-up at the Pre-registration Check-in station during Homecoming. Additionally, those people who pre-register, will be eligible to win prizes.
I am a parent of a current Southwestern student. Do I need to purchase tickets for my SU student?
For the most part you do not need to purchase tickets for your Southwestern student. All meals during the weekend are included in his/her meal plan (they will use their Pirate ID card as usual). If your student does not have a meal plan, then you will need to purchase meal tickets for them.
How do I see who is pre-registered to attend Homecoming?
Visit the Look Who’s Coming list on The Association’s website. The list only shows those who have successfully submitted their pre-registration and have elected to include his/her name on the list.
I do not want to pre-register using the online form. How can I still pre-register?
No problem. Once you have identified the events you would like to attend during the weekend, you may call the Office of University Relations - Alumni and Parents at 800.960.6363. Our staff will only be able to accept credit cards, so please be sure to have yours handy. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT). Please note: Pre-registrations will not be taken (online, by phone or in person) after Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. (CDT).
What happens if I register onsite?
Although we strongly encourage you to pre-register, you can register onsite when you arrive on campus. However, please understand that the fee to register will increase $10 per person and University staff cannot guarantee you a ticket for events that you would like to attend (e.g., Picnic, Class Reunion Parties, etc.). The Onsite Registration station will open on Friday, Oct. 16 (1-5 p.m.) and Saturday, Oct. 17 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). FYI: If you plan to meet friends at the Homecoming Hospitality House and you did not pre-register, you will need to pay the onsite registration fee.
Will the Hospitality House be open on Friday?
Yes. Thanks to the feedback of past Homecoming attendees, the Homecoming Hospitality House will be open on Friday, Oct. 16 from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. PLEASE NOTE: Only alumni and parents of current students will be allowed to enter the Homecoming Hospitality House on Friday.
When will the Hospitality House be open on Saturday?
The Homecoming Hospitality House will be open on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 4:30-8 p.m. and will be focusing on networking (including prizes) with alumni, parents of current students, faculty, staff, current Southwestern students and other Homecoming guests. It is only open for three and a half hours because we want the entire Southwestern community to be able to attend the 175th Anniversary Party from 8-11 p.m. on the Academic Mall.
Who can gain access into the Homecoming Hospitality House?
The Homecoming Hospitality House is open to all Homecoming and Reunion Weekend registrants (those who have paid either the pre-registration or onsite registration fee) who are 21 and older. This includes alumni, parents of current students, faculty, staff and Southwestern students, although students will not be permitted inside on Friday. There will be a brief time on Saturday (between 3:30-4:30 p.m.) where families with children under the age of 21 will be able to enjoy Root Beer floats.
If I did not pre-register, will I need to pay the onsite registration fee in order to access the Homecoming Hospitality House?
Yes. To make it fair for all who attend Homecoming, the registration fee is needed to gain entry into the Homecoming Hospitality House. The only people who are exempt from this rule are current Southwestern students (who are 21 years of age or older - Saturday only), faculty and staff (all of whom will need to provide their Pirate ID card and valid government-issued ID).
Is food provided at the Homecoming Hospitality House?
Yes, indeed! Part of the registration fees that are collected will be used to pay for snacks, hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks (including water) at the Homecoming Hospitality House. Please note: Fees collected are not used to purchase beer or wine.
TRANSPORTATION & PARKING
Where can I park?
We anticipate a high volume of visitors the weekend of Homecoming. There are a number of places to park on campus. Please see the campus map to identify parking lots.
Will there be any street closures during the weekend?
Yes, for a brief amount of time on Saturday, Oct. 17 between 6-10 a.m. The following streets on campus will be closed in preparation for and during the Jameson 5K Fun Run/Walk: Southwestern Blvd. (both directions) and Maple Street (between McKenzie Drive and 7th Street). Access to the following parking lots will be open during that time: Cullen/Admission Lot, Brown-Cody Lot and the Fine Arts Lot.
Where are the accessible parking spots on campus?
To assist mobility-impaired individuals in finding parking and accessible routes to campus facilities, Southwestern University provides an accessibility map that illustrates accessible routes to campus buildings. You can download the accessibility map in PDF format.
Will there be a shuttle service from campus to (and from) the Georgetown Square for the Homecoming Parade?
Yes. A Southwestern University 12-passenger van will go back and forth between the Red & Charline McCombs Campus Center parking lot and the corner of 6th and Main Street. The shuttle van will run between 6 and 7:30 p.m. Please note: This vehicle is not wheelchair accessible and requires passengers to climb a few steep steps with little support.
I have a family member who has a difficult time walking across campus. Is there an on campus shuttle service?
Absolutely. Staff members of Southwestern will be driving Courtesy Shuttles on golf carts during Homecoming on Friday and Saturday (times still to be determined).
COMMUNICATIONS & NOTIFICATIONS
How will I know when pre-registration is open?
An email notification will be sent to alumni and parents of current students. As long as the University has your preferred email address and you have not unsubscribed from receiving messages from the University, you will be notified when pre-registration is open. If your preferred email address has changed, we encourage you to update your information. You may also check The Association’s Facebook page and the Homecoming website for updated information.
I am not receiving email messages about Homecoming. How can I be added to the mailing list?
The University’s database pulls the preferred email address for each alumnus/a or parent of a current student. If your preferred email address has changed, please update your preferred email address so you do not miss any more important messages.
How else can I learn about what’s going on during the weekend?
Two words. Social media! In addition to finding information on the Homecoming and Reunion Weekend website, we encourage you to tap into all The Association’s and the University’s social media outlets. While you’re at it, be sure to use our hash tags: #SUHRW (all things Homecoming), #TheASUA (all things alumni - use this anytime of the year), and, of course, #BeSouthwestern.