ACE’s 2021 Homecoming: celebrating Seahawk solidarity

Cierra Noffke, Culture Editor

From Feb. 6 to Feb. 13, the Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) celebrated Homecoming week for the year 2021. Choc full of safe, inventive and virtual activities, this year’s Homecoming was much different from the others before it but not any less important. 

“Seeing as [Homecoming] has been going on for so long, it would suck to just have to completely cancel it,” Nadia Whitesell, a spirit co-chair of ACE said, “If we can sit here and adapt to these slight changes, why not put on a homecoming for the students?” 

Sidewalk Chalk.
Homecoming virtual game.

This theme of this year’s Homecoming was Virtual Reality, and many of the events ACE offered in the past were shifted to a virtual setting or made-socially distant. Amongst others, some of these events included a socially distant chalking competition, a virtual music trivia night, grab and go breakfast—to replace the popular Late Night Breakfast—and a socially distanced Homecoming crowning. 

“Like, out of all the [Homecoming] events, three of them are in person,” Whitesell said. “So, it’s like you’re not missing out a lot. You’re just missing out on like some of the free stuff that we’re giving out. You can still enjoy homecoming in the comfort of your living room if you need to. And that’s what I like about this year. I think it’s something that we can still put into next year.”

Besides Whitesell, Jade Urena was the second spirit chair this year. Both were mentioned by Drew Johnson, a member of the homecoming court nominated by Housing and Residence Life, as members of ACE who pushed to make this year memorable and inviting. 

“While we are living in a different situation,” Johnson said, “these members of ACE are incredibly proactive and always trying to figure out what we can do to make sure that it still feels normal, but still safe.”

In addition to acclimating to the demands of the pandemic, ACE has also taken strides to be more inclusive by changing the titles of ‘homecoming king and queen’ to ‘homecoming royalty.’ 

The homecoming court this year consisted of Sabrina Balent, Nicki D’Alessio, Emma D’Anjolell, Drew Johnson, Lexy Kurm, Jacob Lamonsoff, Alexis Pean, Ashantee Pickett, Brianna Ramirez and Gabby Schmidt. 

“During a normal year,” said Johnson, “we would be crowned and escorted during our homecoming basketball [game].”

This year, the crowning ceremony was socially distanced and held privately in the Burney Center and live streamed via Facebook. Sabrina Balent and Alexis Pean were crowned as homecoming royalty of 2021.