Homecoming events get under way at UTEP

Daniel Perez

UTEP

This year’s homecoming activities at The University of Texas at El Paso have more of an orange-and-black motif as events play off All Hallows Eve, so Miner Nation be warned – this week’s agenda is filled with tricks and treats.

Coordinators conjured up contests that stayed true to this year’s A Haunting Homecoming theme. The challenges range from the selection of Homecoming royalty to the creation of “scary” desserts, carved pumpkins, and ghostly parade floats.

“I’m super excited about all the events,” said Erika D. Portillo, a Student Development Center coordinator who helped oversee Homecoming preparations. “The students chose these different activities. They wanted it scary.”

To be clear, organizers mean scary as in fun scary. One prime example is the annual lip sync competition that starts at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Union Plaza Stage. Fraternities, sororities and student groups will add their own Halloween sub-themes to performances meant to make the audience howl.

“It’s the most fun. The students sing, dance and make fools of themselves. They’re totally without shame,” Portillo said with a laugh.

Staff, students and faculty are encouraged to watch the contests during the day or after hours, such as the pumpkin carving contest or the float-making party that will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in the P-9 parking lot behind the Sun Bowl and Kidd Field.

Freshman Paola Lujan, who is between majors, said she looks forward to experiencing her first UTEP homecoming. She said she plans to support her sorority friends who will perform at the lip sync contest and at the float-making party.

“They’re making a big deal about the floats. They’re excited and they want to win (the float competition). It sounds like fun, but also very competitive,” she said. “I decided to take it easy this year and see what college life is all about, but next year I plan to go all out.”

Student organizations also will compete Monday through Wednesday in the Doomsday Donation Wars, where groups will offer personal hygiene items that will be given to the Center Against Family Violence. The items will be collected in the Campus Activities Board Garage on the first floor of Union Building West.

The major festivities – the parade and the pep rally – start at noon. The parade route could be considered a trick by some. Because of nearby construction on Oregon Street, the parade will start near the Mining Minds sculpture in the roundabout at the western entrance to campus and move east along University Avenue. Participants will go north at Hawthorne Street to Circle Drive where this year’s Distinguished Alumni, Ben Black and Jerry Porras, and the 2011 Gold Nugget Award winners will be dropped off at Memorial Triangle near Magoffin Auditorium.

The pep rally, which starts immediately after the parade, will include remarks from President Diana Natalicio, football head coach Mike Price, introductions of the DAs and Gold Nuggets, a routine by the cheerleaders and a performance by the UTEP band.

“It’s going to be a blast,” said Judge Scott, an Athletics Department marketing assistant who helped organize the pep rally.

Visitor parking is available at the Sun Bowl Parking Garage, Academic Services Building, the Hilton Garden Inn and the perimeter lots. Individuals with special needs who may need to park on campus during Homecoming Week are encouraged to call UTEP’s Parking and Transportation Services office at 915-747-5724.

Alumni Relations will sell $4.50 Homecoming hot dog combos (hot dog, chips and drink) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Friday at Memorial Triangle.

For the most part, festivities will climax at the Homecoming game that will pit the UTEP Miners against the Colorado State Rams at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Sun Bowl.

Tuesday, Oct. 18
Scariest Dessert
Student Activity
Noon
Union Plaza Stage

Pumpkin Carving
Student Activity
6:30 p.m.
Union Plaza

Wednesday, Oct. 19
Lip Sync Contest
Student Activity
11 a.m.
Union Plaza Stage

Donation Wars End
Student Activity
5 p.m.
Campus Activities Board Garage

Thursday, Oct. 20
Open House: The History of UTEP
10 a.m.
Heritage House

Cemetary Chase
Student Activity
11 a.m.
Geology Lawn Triangle

Float-Making Party
Student Activity
6 p.m.
P-9 parking lot

Friday, Oct. 21
Float Judging
Student Activity
10 a.m.
P-9 parking lot

Homecoming Parade
Noon
UTEP campus

Pep Rally
1:15 p.m.
Memorial Triangle

Saturday, Oct. 22
Open House: The History of UTEP
9 a.m.
Heritage House

UTEP Alumni Association Tailgate Party
3 p.m.
Glory Field/ Practice Field

Homecoming Football Game, UTEP vs. Colorado State University
6 p.m.
Sun Bowl Stadium

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