TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona is taking their Homecoming celebrations all online this year.
“Everything is online, your homecoming is in the comfort of your own home,” said Senior Director of Alumni and Student Engagement Marc Acuna.
Due to the pandemic, his team looked to plan B to keep some celebrations intact. They turned to an online format filled with interactive videos and chat rooms.
“What’s going to welcome you is 160 different videos, activities, brought to you by all our different colleges and campus partners all across the university,” said Acuna.
Homecoming royalty will still be crowned and ‘A’ Mountain will still be lit up for a virtual viewing.
It’s considered to be a literal bright spot among the changes and cancelations. Changes some students are still adjusting to.
“I’m just upset because I feel like we’re missing out on an experience that the upperclassmen have had so far, so we don’t get to have that freshman year game with the excitement," said freshman Avery Iverson.
“Everything being online with the whole transition, it was pretty upsetting at first,” said senior Christian Cabatingan. "But of course we can’t always be upset we got to make the most out of the situation.'
This year will still have something brand new. A Giving Day on November 12th, where donated funds will go directly to student support.
“It’s tough times right now for our students and we want to find different ways to support them and make them feel connected,” said Acuna.
When it comes to the big game—tailgating is off limits and the stands will only be filled with cardboard cutouts. But campus groups are hosting virtual tailgates via Zoom. And while it might not be the homecoming that was expected, it’s one that is hopefully well accepted.
″I believe that we can still make the most out of it just accepting what we have and having that optimistic mindset from here on out," said Cabatingan.
A celebration for the 2020 graduates whose commencement as canceled in the spring was originally going to be held during homecoming this year. That was canceled as well. The University says it still plans to hold an in-person celebration when it is safe to do so.