UW Oshkosh homecoming moves online

Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer, News Writer

Homecoming still happened this year at UW Oshkosh from Oct. 19-30, but how did COVID-19 affect it?

There were a number of events that were moved to online such as a trivia night, a talent show, bingo and a lip sync battle, but students still got an in-person experience with window painting, hall/house decorating and Minute to Win It.

“The attendance at many of our events was steady. In comparison to prior years, we brought in 25% of what our total attendance would be,” Reeve Union Board adviser Dylan Bram said. “With the pandemic, we placed caps on how many people could show up per event, capping it at five people per group, so that limited what attendance could look like due to following the safety protocol for COVID-19.”

Despite only having 25% of their usual attendance, RUB was actually impressed by the turnout.

“Given the circumstances, I was incredibly happy with the turnout,” Bram said. “Reeve Union Board’s Special Events chair, Cole Schmidt, who was the student overseeing homecoming this year, did a fantastic job of adapting to changes, and redesigning what each of the events looked like.”

Schmidt not only had to redesign events to move them online, but he also had to redesign the in-person events in order to follow the mask mandate and social distancing rule.

While there were plenty of positives for still having homecoming during a pandemic, there are some things that Bram thinks could’ve been changed or will be changed if this carries over to next year’s Homecoming.

“The only change we would make is to eliminate the talent show due to low video submissions, and rethink how we would display our music video competition,” Bram said. “We would set it up in a physical room, with external sound and video, and then stream it via Facebook Live, or Instagram Live, to eliminate some of the snags we had with screen sharing.”

This year, RUB continued with the tradition of the residence hall and the Greek Life organization that would win homecoming.

RUB found the winners by using the same point system as pre-coronavirus: “Points are given out at each event, with first place receiving 20 points, second receiving 15 points, third receiving 10 points and the rest of the participants in the event receiving five points for participation.

The groups were split by division to compete against each other; meaning Greek Life competed against other Greek Life teams, and Residence Halls competed against other Residence Hall teams” Bram said.

This year’s winners of COVID homecoming were Fletcher Hall for the residence hall and Zeta Tau Alpha paired with Delta Sigma Pi for the Greek Organization.