Open forum discusses possibility of Homecoming parade


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Members of the Cyclone spirit squad perform at the pep rally Friday night.

Mollie Shultz

With a small crowd of students looking on, the ISU Homecoming Central Committee discussed the possibility of a Homecoming parade Wednesday night, in Carver.

Members of the committee said the idea for a parade has been around for about a year. Homecoming Central General Co-chair Allison Pitz had a meeting with President Leath to discuss the parade. Leath gave the committee permission to have a parade as long as there is adequate student interest.

Pitz, senior in marketing, discussed the tentative plans for the parade. The committee hopes to institute the parade in the fall of 2016 or 2017, but the exact date depends on the interest of student organizations.

Along with university leadership, other community organizations have already put their support behind the parade. Some of these organizations include Campustown and the Main Street Cultural District.

Student organizations would make a float to be pulled by a truck, or they could walk or perform in the parade to participate. The route is still being discussed, but students in the crowd shared that they would like to see the parade go through campus and through Ames.

The Homecoming Committee hopes the parade will happen Friday night during Homecoming Week to lead in to the pep rally, but also said it was open to it happening before the game Saturday.

Cost was a main concern for many organizations in attendance. The committee itself hopes with adequate sponsors, there would only be a small registration fee to participate.

Members of the solar car team voiced their enthusiasm for the possibility of a parade if there was only a small fee to participate.

Jace Hegg, senior in aerospace engineering and member of the solar car team, said he hopes the parade happens. He hopes the parade will bring, “community awareness and involvement, to make the community of Ames aware of what we do, but also for Iowa State as a whole as well. Just taking the car out and getting exposure to the community is very important to us.”

Another primary concern voiced was the involvement of the greek community.

Abby Sturtzer, junior in English education and general co-chair for the Homecoming Central Committee, said that although Homecoming at Iowa State is usually seen as a large greek event, she hopes the possibility of a parade garners more student and community involvement.

“One of the things we’re really trying to do is to make Homecoming include not only Greeks, but other students and the community of Ames,” Sturtzer said.

She hopes that encouraging and allowing other clubs to make floats and participate alongside the greek community will add a new aspect to the celebration that will spark more interest and involvement.

Sturtzer also said that although the parade during Veisha was a major ISU tradition, the committee is not trying to replicate that aspect of Iowa State’s past. Instead, members hope the Homecoming parade will turn into something bigger and better for all of Ames, not just campus.

Pitz said the decision for the parade should come before Spring Break. She added that although the parade will not be perfect the first year, she and the committee hope it will be a stepping stone to bring a better celebration to Ames in the coming years.