UW- Eau Claire Homecoming 2020 goes virtual

Join the celebration of virtual homecoming with competitions, events and varsity night live


Calling all Blugolds: Homecoming week has started. Although it may look a little different, it’s still jam-packed with multiple competitions, events and the famous Varsity Night Live. 

With virtual homecoming underway, the University Activities Commission had to make significant changes. Jack Stewart, a festival committee co-chair for UAC and a business and accounting student, is one of many people working to make this all possible. 

However, Stewart admits making the event virtual has been a challenge.

“Having everything virtual has been difficult, but we have been adapting,” Stewart said. “Granted, not having events like the parade is not ideal, but we have been trying to make the best out of it.”

Even though some events that usually take place with homecoming are unable to happen, the UAC did what it could to keep as many events as possible and replaced those that couldn’t be held. 

“We’re still doing the medallion hunt, spirit competition and Homecoming royalty voting,” Joann Martin said, the advisor of the UAC.

So far, during Homecoming week, a lot of competitions and events have already started. One event was the Blugold window painting down at the Davis Center, where student organizations could sign-up before Homecoming week and paint a design to be judged. These art pieces then stay up all throughout Homecoming for students to walk by and see. 

Another traditional competition is the medallion hunt. UAC has been releasing clues about where the medallion is hidden on their Instagram story since Monday. Students have until Friday, Oct. 2 to try and find the Blugold medal.

The third competition that ends on Saturday is RecUnite. Students, employees and alumni can enter photos doing recreational activities with the printable race bib for the chance to win one of three Scheels gift cards.

Something new this year is Blu’s Tik Tok challenge that kicked off Monday and ends on Saturday, Oct. 3. This is a spirit competition where students can follow @blutheblugold and use the hashtag #blushocochallenge to earn spirit points. Three people are eligible to win.

The other new competition is Blu fan art that opened Tuesday and is closing submission Thursday, Oct. 1. Art can be submitted on UAC’s Instagram page, or it can be emailed to [email protected]. Voting will be done through the UAC Instagram story this Friday, where again, three people will be eligible to win. 

The last big competition being held is the alumni vs. student trivia taking place Thursday, Oct. 1 through Zoom. The requirement to compete is that a team must be registered by noon on the day of the event. Earning points will be through the 10 questions and through the mini-game rounds between each of those questions. 

If students aren’t looking to compete, there will be yoga and Zumba earlier in the week and dancing with Campus Recreation coming up on Saturday, Oct. 3. 

To end virtual Homecoming week, Varsity Night Live is still happening on Friday, Oct. 2, where the Blugold Marching Band will perform, and spirit point rankings, Homecoming Royalty and the alumni award will be announced via a livestream. 

After, the Homecoming concert featuring Briston Maroney, an alternative genre musician, will perform live to wrap up the celebration. 

To learn more about Maroney, check out their page here.

Students interested in watching Varsity Night Live must register to receive the event link by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. Find the link here.

With all that said, there is still a part of Homecoming that cannot be brought virtually and it’s the reunion and celebration of UW-Eau Claire’s alumni. 

Anastasia Bouras, an education alum from UW-Eau Claire, said, “My favorite Homecoming memory was when my best friend won Homecoming royalty. Hearing the announcement of her winning at Varsity Night Live was the best.” 

However, since COVID-19 is preventing the Blugold football team from playing a Homecoming game and moving all of Varsity Night Live online, alumni have the option to stream. Still, it might not feel the same to all.

“As an alum, not getting to feel the energy of campus during Homecoming is something I will miss and not having the opportunity to connect with old college friends in person is also just not the same,” Bouras said.

Huettner can be reached at [email protected]