LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech kicked off their first-ever virtual homecoming this week. As most could expect, it already looks much different from traditional homecoming. All of the events are being held in a virtual format and posted on the university’s website at the end of each day.
School officials and student leaders spoke with us on Tuesday about how the community has been adjusting to these changes.
“I’ve been really encouraged by how hard Texas Tech has been working to make sure that most of the events that can happen virtually are happening virtually,” said Student Body President Hunter Heck. “So, I’ve been grateful to see that. But nothing is the same as getting to meet with other people in person.”
While it’s disappointing homecoming events can’t take place in person this year, student leaders said there has still been plenty of pep around campus.
“It’s been difficult, obviously, to seek to promote togetherness and seek to find ways that we can still interact together from a distance, and so, for example, the homecoming parade is canceled this year.
“However, student organizations and residence halls across campus have still been able to collaborate on signs that are posted across campus, find ways to meaningfully participate in homecoming, even from a distance,” said Heck.
However, until just a few weeks ago, students didn’t know what homecoming would look like at all.
“I think so far everybody’s super excited about it just because, you know, the chance that we still do get to do homecoming,” said Texas Tech sophomore Marisa Vasquez.
This is the second homecoming for Vasquez at Texas Tech. She said there has been a lot of uncertainty leading up to this week.
“Homecoming for us has been very, it’s been very difficult, especially because they gave it like, they gave us the information that we were gonna go ahead and do homecoming so last minute,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez said it was a challenge for her sorority to coordinate everything in time.
However, despite the stress, she said there’s still been a lot of energy on campus.
“This year, we really wanted to highlight how much students are using different apps to stay in contact. So, the theme is Raider Reds’ favorite app,” said Claire Nevarez, Associate Director of Student Union and Activities. “So, every organization chose an app on the Apple store or Google Play. And they chose their entire theme around that app. So, it’s been a lot of fun to see all the group’s creativity this year.”
Nevarez said she’s happy to see how everyone has come together despite the changes.
“I think at this year’s homecoming shows, Red Raider pride is deeper than ever, and everyone really loves Tech and loves what we stand for,” said Nevarez. “And everyone is a Red Raider, and they come together to support what we do.”
Unfortunately, the homecoming parade will not be happening this year. Student leaders said they’re looking forward to the virtual pep rally on Friday, where the King and Queen will be announced.