Last week, the UVU community celebrated its first homecoming as a university. Some of the festivities included a T-shirt swap, a dodge ball tournament, a polar bear swim, the True Wolverine Bonfire and the main event: the UVU men’s basketball team playing the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“This year’s homecoming week was spectacular and crazy,” said Student Body President Joseph Watkins. “There were tons of activities each day.”
Homecoming week was so successful that nearly the entire Grande Ballroom filled on Wednesday afternoon with students and staff members sporting green attire and eating J-Dawgs for Wolverine Wednesday.
“Another cool event was the polar bear swim,” said Watkins. “There were 100 pennies on the bottom of a pool in the courtyard and there were about ten contestants that jumped into freezing cold water to get them.”
He added that they had dumped buckets of ice and freezing cold water into a pool and contestants had to dive down and retrieve the pennies. Whoever came up with the most won an iPod Touch.
“Some contestants were prepared with swimming suites, some were fully clothed, and some found out about it right before and decided to enter,” said Watkins. “It was just fun to watch everybody dive in.”
The dodge ball tournament also was a success. Twenty teams entered this year’s tournament.
“Dodge ball was fun to watch,” said UVU student Claudio Pacchiega. “There were surprisingly a lot of girl teams. However, the guy teams were not very nice to the girl teams, which made it really interesting to watch.”
Another new tradition was established during this year’s homecoming week: the True Wolverine Bonfire.
“About 250 students showed up to the True Wolverine Bonfire where there were four fire pits set up in a square in Parking Lot A,” said Watkins. “Students would line up, and a couple would go between the fires and kiss, which would apparently make you a true wolverine.”
“People were running in the middle of the fires and kissing. People who didn’t even know each other were kissing. It was crazy,” he said.
“It became a competition to see who could kiss more people,” added Jerry Stenquist.
In addition to these activities, staff members around campus were encouraged to decorate their office doors in celebration of homecoming week and the holiday season for a door decoration competition sponsored by the Bookstore.
“The doors were judged on four criteria,” said Textbook Manager David Morris. “First was creativity, second was the emphasis on homecoming and UVU, third was the overall appearance and fourth was a blend of holiday spirit.”
Morris added that the winners were given a full lunch for up to twenty people in the Valley View Room, and the second and third place winners were given a basket full of bookstore goodies.
“I loved that students stuck around and were involved,” said UVUSA Spirit Chair Kim Rasmussen. “From eight guys jumping into the ice cold water to grab pennies to the dodge ball tournament, it was an amazing week.