Homecoming 101

Your guide to the people, the events and the lingo.
Monday, October 20, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Pomping: The process of folding tissue paper around a finger or pen and gluing it to a board to create “house decs.”

Ask any student in a Greek organization about pomping, and a groan will follow.

“Are you kidding?” says Lynne Obermiller of Alpha Chi Omega. “It’s probably the single most awful thing that connotates a bad image in my mind about Homecoming. Not only does it take forever, but a lot of times the pomps fall apart and need to be re-glued.”

Many sororities and fraternities require at least eight to 10 hours per member of pomping each week.

Fling: A series of short skits presented by fraternities and their sorority partners in Jesse auditorium.

These also follow a theme each Homecoming game. This year’s theme is “Forever Famous.” The time and dates for the “pre-lims” (first round) are 6 p.m. today and Tuesday, with the finals being held 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Grand marshal: The leader of the week’s events. This person traditionally is a graduate of MU.

Leading this year’s festivities will be Sheryl Crow — singer, Grammy winner and a 1984 MU alumna. The grand marshal is a figure who kicks off the homecoming opening ceremonies and appears several times throughout the week at the charity and money-raising events.

Campus Decorations (also known as House Decs): Pomped decorations adorning the lawns of sororities and fraternities throughout Greek town the Friday evening before the Homecoming game.

A tradition for 68 years, house decorations have been constructed by the Greek houses since 1935. Each Homecoming offers a new theme. This year’s is the Looney Tunes.

Liaison: The representative from each Greek chapter in all of the Homecoming events.

Liaisons are elected by their chapters, and help communication between them and the Steering Committee. From service to parade activities, the liaison is a vital key to Homecoming.

“A liaison has got to be responsible and very committed,” says senior Sarah Ferner. “Without a liaison, Homecoming would fall apart.”

Royalty: The 10 king and queen candidates chosen to represent the student body during Homecoming. The king and queen are elected by individual Greek chapters and publicly revealed at halftime of the Homecoming game. For a look at this year’s royalty candidates, see page 16.

Steering Committee: A team made up of Greek leaders who plan Homecoming events.

Heading up this year’s 2003 Homecoming Steering Committee are directors Lynette Reed, Wes Rogers and Andy McCarthy. They lead the 25 other students divided into the advertising, blood drive, campus decorations, merchandise and marketing, parade, relations, royalty, service, special projects, spirit, and talent committees.

Truman: MU’s tiger mascot. He’s everywhere: at charity events, on football fields, and at Homecoming blood drives. A local hero for many small children, Truman is Columbia’s most loved tiger. Truman used to have a female companion when he was just named Big Tiger. His escort was called ‘Lil Tiger, and donned an apron on her tiger suit.

The mascot, now solo, was named Truman in 1986 for the United States President Harry S. Truman, who was born in Missouri. Truman the Tiger performs at all MU football and basketball games, as well as many other athletic events. Twice in the last eight years, Truman was acclaimed “Best Mascot in the Nation” in a national competition.

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