VCU Homecoming 2015 brings new twists to old traditions

Taylor Thornberg
Spectrum Editor

Chance the Rapper, a 21-year-old rapper from Chicago headlined Ramfest. Homecoming princess candidate Shona Malhotra described his performace as “experimental”. Photo by Tobi Oluwo

As the dust settles on VCU’s 2015 Homecoming Week, students are sadly struggling back into school mode just in time for midterms. But it doesn’t all have to be over, as students are already reflecting on their homecoming experience and preparing for next year.

A few highlights of homecoming week were the big events such as Light the Night, VCU’s Got Talent, the pep rally, Ram Fest and the Grande Coronation. Some of the events followed long-standing VCU homecoming traditions, such as the Ram Fest concert, while others, such as the pep rally, were brand-new ideas for 2015.

According to Shona Malhotra, a candidate for homecoming princess, the best part about homecoming week this year was the pep rally.

“It was cool having so many people there when the night started,” Malhotra said in a Facebook message.

The pep rally and watch party was held Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the Siegel Center, and featured a variety of activities from a meet and greet with VCU coaches and athletes to a jousting area. The game was shown on the jumbo screen as the Rams unfortunately lost to the Richmond Spiders 63-67. However, Malhotra said the coaches and athletes at the watch party were not too disappointed.

“It was a really good time and I liked hearing from all the sports teams and coaches at the beginning thanking everyone for the constant support,” Malhotra said.

While the pep rally was a new concept, the homecoming concert this year followed old traditions with a new artist. Chance the Rapper, a 21-year-old rapper from Chicago, headlined the event and brought true havoc to the Siegel Center. Malhotra described the performance as “experimental.”

“Chance kept doing ‘experiments’ with the crowd and doing different songs and really got the audience involved,” Malhotra said. “It surely lived up to the feel of a performance at a concert.”

VCU’s pep band, The Peppas, gets the crowd excited at the pep rally and watch party Wednesday night. Photo by Becca Schwartz

Before Chance’s act, Chaz French, a rapper from Washington D.C. and Magic!, a Canadian reggae fusion band known for their hit single “Rude,” performed. Malhotra mentioned that people in the crowd weren’t quite “in the mood” for their music at the time, but became more excited when the group expressed how much they were enjoying their experience with VCU.

All in all, the Ram Fest concert was considered a success by many VCU students and guests, as referenced by the series of tweets put out during and after the concert. Twitter user @sofiesticated wrote,               “@chancetherapper blew me away (at) VCU homecoming.”

Another twitter user, @mattpurvis9 wrote, “My first VCU Homecoming was TURNT! Front row seat! #LoveMySchool #chancetherapper #magic #empire.”

While the concert was a big highlight, homecoming weekend also came with exciting events such as the parade, tailgate and the big game. The parade made its annual loop from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and down Broad Street, and although it wasn’t particularly long, many student organizations, especially Greek life, were present. Overall, between new and old traditions, the VCU Homecoming Committee of 2015 worked hard to put on this year’s events, and in Malhotra’s opinion, it was a success.

“It’s been a blast meeting all these new people and showing my Ram pride,” Malhotra said. “I’m glad I made it more of a priority this year because I really am proud to be a VCU Ram.”

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