Cultural Experience | New York

Syracuse Gets Rowdy For Homecoming

we don’t just tailgate, we go nuts!

By Ciarra Lee, Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Syracuse University 

Friends tailgating at Castle Court bright and early

Friends tailgating at Castle Court bright and early

When people think of the typical college “homecoming weekend,” one often thinks of tailgates, beer, and the home football game. Syracuse University, like other American universities, have that same kind of atmosphere, except we get a little rowdier than most. Alumni and parents often start their festivities early on in the morning. I was still in bed at 10:30 AM when a ton of people above the age of 25 were already out drinking and screaming in the streets. It was a nice way to wake up in the morning knowing the afternoon and night festivities were already underway.

Morning routine

Besides the binge drinking, the morning usually starts out with a series of scheduled luncheons, tailgates, and panels for alumni. These are usually separated by college or major and gives alumni a way to reconnect with their peers in a large social atmosphere.  This is when the smell of  burgers against the hot grill waft around campus. It was raining this year so a few of these tailgates were canceled due to the rain, but many places like our Goldstein Faculty Center still kept on the cookout tradition despite the drizzle. Many alumni visit their old chapter houses  and see if everything looks the same. The bonding experience between old alumni and current members is something truly amazing. It’s nice to see the old and new intermingle and talk about shared experiences is something Greek college community members look forward to.

homecoming student image

Fans filling the Dome.

Game Time

Most people come back to the university to watch the game, granted our team hasn’t been that great this year. People love to come out and support their team despite their playing abilities. The stands are filled with fans cheering and yelling from every direction of the dome. Nothing beats a home game with a sea of orange, a cold beer, and popcorn. The dome itself smells like game day food, lots of hotdogs, fries, nachos, and beer are sold throughout the game. During half time the cheerleaders and the dance team go through their routines and the spirit team rips across the film to rev the crowd up. The clashing of football helmets is heard throughout the stadium as the third quarter commences. Fans get loud and the chants begin till the end of the game, but the real fun starts after the game.

Castle Court gets crowded  for the tailgate!

Castle Court gets crowded for the tailgate!

More Tailgates

After the game most students go to Castle Court, a parking lot in between an apartment complex. The parking lot fills up with hues of orange and blue. There are bouncy houses, ice cream trucks, and and RV full of “jungle juice.” This concoction is full of liquors, orange juice, and sprite. Anyone who drinks just a cup of this will start feeling its effects within 30 minutes of their time being at any Syracuse event. It is a way to unwind and just let loose and join the fun! Techno and rap music is usually is blasting so hard the ground shakes from the vibrations of the beat dropping. People are dancing and raving to the upbeat culture of the university. Most are beyond a normal state of drunk, but we all embrace it any way because there is only four years to the college experience and you might as well go as crazy as possible. This year we had a bouncy house and ice cream trunk. Students were belligerently bouncing around in the blow up castle. People’s tongues were green, purple, and blue from snow cones. Others were shot gunning beers on top of a rented RV, at one point there was a couch on top of the RV for those who wanted to relax from the crowd. It was fun to be on top of until the rain got to it and made it almost float away. Despite the days weather the university still had an amazing homecoming and we hope to continue these traditions for years to come!

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Ciarra Lee

Syracuse University | 4 stories

My name is Ciarra Lee, I am a broadcast and digital journalism major with a minor in political science at Syracuse University. I am a serious foodie and travel junkie. I love exploring new places and finding out about local cultures!


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