Op-ed: Has UofT Homecoming Become Too Mainstream?
Look, I love homecoming as much as the next UofT student. As a fourth-year, some of my fondest memories are of the famously rowdy crowds on St. George, the prominent displays of UofT colours, and of course, the iconic Homecoming Game.
But as the years pass, I find myself wondering whether the annual outbursts of school spirit have morphed into something that is too mainstream––too commercialized––for its own good. Don’t get me wrong, you need a certain number of students to create the kind of buzzing atmosphere that people across the province associate with UofT homecoming. But has it become overkill?
Homecoming is meant to be a spiritual occasion, a time when you can just get completely shitfaced at 11 in the morning without feeling guilt or shame––and not because all your friends’ Instagram stories show them doing the same, but because you just love your Varsity Blues that much.
Aside from the commercialization of homecoming, we should also consider the potential health ramifications. With upwards of six students crammed into the Varsity Stadium bleachers for the big game, the school seems to be overlooking the risks of this potential super-spreader event.
Perhaps this year’s record-breaking attendance numbers are an aberration. It is worth considering that, after an entire year off campus, UofT students have been starved for the classic homecoming experience. But does this surge in popularity come at the expense of the event’s identity?
Photo Credit: Shane Wang