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America's Greatest Homecoming: What It Means To Me

I wear a lot of hats on this beautiful campus. Homecoming is a feather in many people's cap in Stillwater, but there are some things that agitate me about this whole week. It's great, but it could be better.

This is what I live for, but I want more people to be as passionate. It is possible.
This is what I live for, but I want more people to be as passionate. It is possible.
Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

As most people know, I am the President of the Paddle People, a group that is known for its school spirit and overall zeal for anything Oklahoma State athletics has to offer.

What many people don't know under the copious amounts of eye black, white face paint and the orange prison jumpsuit is that I am a Greek as well.

These two groups are polar opposites.

One group famously stays until the end of every football game, win or lose. The other is infamous for the mass exodus after homecoming winners are announced. It's the sad reality of the America's Greatest Homecoming.

I love this university, and as a person that didn't grow up around this school or even in this state, I am amazed that I am in the position that I am.

Oklahoma State has arguably the best homecoming in the country. It is great, but it could be so much better.

Having experienced homecoming from both sides, the Greeks side is unfortunately lacking. Obviously I am a passionate and intense person, but for one week a year the Greek community comes together and tries to be as passionate and intense. It doesn't work. If only there was that level of passion every week.

People sure wouldn't complain about a dull student section, or lack of student attendance anymore.

I understand that Homecoming is a huge competition among the Greek houses. That is great. Competition brings out the best in people, I firmly believe that. This week though, makes Greeks forget that we aren't the only people on this campus. Homecoming is not about Greeks. Not to step on anybody's toes.

This week is a celebration of all things OSU. That includes Greeks, the Residence Halls, the Faculty, Clubs, Athletics, and so much more.

Last year during Homecoming & Hoops, it donned on me that the Greeks have lost touch with what Homecoming is about. It was an attention grab. Who could say "look at me" the most and get recognized for it. We're supposed to be coming together this week, but it has become cliquey and separated among Greeks, non-affiliated students and athletes. We're also supposed to be supporting our athletes, remember that.

What if we all came together? I know it may be hard with all the competition and trash talk that inevitably goes on with the house decks being built, but if we all came together, could we not make America's Greatest Homecoming even better?

We're all rooting for the same team in the end. So what if we don't all have the same backgrounds or interests? This university brought us all together and we should celebrate the time we have here before it is gone.

This weekend, which starts tonight with Walk Around and Homecoming & Hoops, let us try and celebrate what this university has done for us all, and if one of us is lucky enough to be recognized for a house deck, float, or any other homecoming event, let that just be a complement to the weekend of celebration.

I love this school and the people here make this school what it is. Tomorrow, I beg you, please stay the entire game, these guys on the football team are going to need the support for all four quarters. They love the support and will be gracious when we bring in another Homecoming win.

Hope to see you all out and about.

Go Pokes!

Things to remember for the weekend:

1. This is a celebration of OSU

2. Celebrate this week as an OSU family

3. Everyone stay the entire football game