Winter homecoming: Is it time to say goodbye?

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Bethany Bergschneider, Editor

For most high schools, homecoming involves football games, a parade, and a fun fall dance. For us, however, it’s a little different. Because homecoming at Franklin is hosted in the winter, it mainly involves icy-cold outdoor photos. If the cold was the only issue with winter homecoming, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. However, many students agree that winter homecoming can be inconvenient in other ways, to say the least. 

We’ve had to move homecoming, or some kind of homecoming activity, twice in the past two years. For a quick refresher, last year there was barely a homecoming week because school was canceled twice, meaning that students missed spirit dress-up days and activities during homeroom. 

This year, the Friday afternoon assembly, the game, and the dance were all moved. The dance was held the following weekend and the game was postponed, but court members were announced at a Waverly game, meaning Franklin lost the chance to truly host the homecoming game. The junior class lost the concessions revenue as well. The spirit day/pep rally was canceled and rescheduled, then just canceled after we missed school due to weather again.  

In a survey sent to all high school students, shown in the chart below, few were opposed to changing the season we host homecoming. The actual totals were 29 ‘yes’ votes, 8 ‘maybe,’ and 2 ‘no.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next question offered various options about how we would host homecoming in the fall because we don’t have home football games. The main options are an early-season basketball game that would be in late November or early December, a volleyball game, or somehow working with New Berlin to have homecoming in the fall during football season.

The third question was open-ended and asked for reasons why students do or do not support a homecoming date change. One student said, “I feel having homecoming and prom back-to-back is really difficult on many families, cost wise. Having it in the fall would help with this. Also, with snow days, it’s hard to predict whether or not we will have to push it back, as we did this last year. When we have it in the winter, many students are wearing short dresses and it’s very cold. Accidents are more likely to occur when there is snow and ice on the ground, and having homecoming in the fall would help parents feel more at-ease knowing their child will more than likely make it home safe.” 

Those sentiments were echoed in many other responses. “I think it would be better, because everyone else is having homecoming around then and we have to wait,” another student responded. “Also, they talk about it and we can’t. It ruins the vibe of the time when you don’t have a dance and everyone else does.”

Another respondent stated, “When our school holds it in late January it is freezing, making picture-taking more difficult. Having homecoming in the fall would make the event less likely to get canceled. Canceling the dance frustrates everyone, especially those who have made reservations/appointments before the the dance.”

Mrs. Lancaster, who is responsible for organizing homecoming when Franklin hosts, agrees. “Moving it to the fall would go more with the traditional idea of homecoming. Personally, especially after this year, I think it’s best to do it in the fall, because then you don’t have the chance of a snow day conflict.”

Mr. Waggener says he’ll support a homecoming date change if the students are behind it. “I’m not opposed to doing it in the fall like everyone else does. I don’t see why it would be a big deal not to since we have prom in the spring time. We don’t have that much going on in the fall, so having a major event like that would be good. Of course, we co-op, so that would be something we’d have to talk to Waverly about to get both schools’ opinions, but I don’t see it being a big deal.” 

As Mr. Waggener and some students mentioned, having homecoming and prom so close together isn’t an ideal setup. Moving homecoming to the fall would allow more time between them. If students still wanted a winter dance, the change could create room for a Sadie Hawkins dance, which is a tradition at many area schools. 

Changing the date would first require taking a proposal to the board, then presenting it at a meeting. The next step would be to do the same at a Waverly board meeting. If both of those went well, students would take another simple survey about whether they’d prefer a fall or winter homecoming before the date would ultimately be decided.