NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s a fall tradition for most colleges across the country, homecoming, but that won’t be the case at Illinois State University this semester. For the first time in 98 years, the university is moving the celebration to the spring.
No homecoming celebrations in the fall means less patrons for popular twin cities bars like Pub II, a venue that thrives on big events.
“Financially it’s a big hit that pays for a lot of bills,” said Luke Rokos, General Manager of Pub II. “No matter which way you slice it, it’s unfortunate.”
Rokos says he’s not surprised with the universities decision, but he was hoping to, at least, have the annual parade.
“It’s like a holiday to us,” said Rokos. “We get to see people that we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s just fun for our staff and fun for the community.
University leaders say the deciding factor was football, or rather, the lack there of it.
“After several discussions with athletics, and our other campus partners, it was decided that we were really interested in having a game (tied to the event) and hopefully having fans,” said Kris Harding, Executive Director of ISU’s Alumni Engagement.
Some students agree, quoting the old phrase “its better to have something than nothing at all”.
“It’s good that we are at least having it,” said Junior, Austin Mayer. “I think everyone would prefer it in the fall but you know..”
If it happens in the spring it will be ISU’s 99th Homecoming celebration.
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