BY: HANNAH JONES
Columbus Day weekend at Sacred Heart University is the first extended weekend for students to go home. This year the homecoming football game is scheduled during that weekend, which asks the questions: How do students feel? Will students be going home, or staying for the game? “I am going home because it’s our first break,” said junior Natalie Pironi. “Even if I decide to stay, it won’t end up being the same experience; most people are going home.”
Sophomore Danielle Fischbein said, “As much as I would love to stay for the game to support our football team, I would rather go home and be with my family.” However, senior Ella Dybas said that she will be staying for the game.
“This is the first weekend that students plan to go home, so I understand why students are,” said Dybas. “I wondered why Sacred Heart would put one of the college’s big events on one of the weekends where most students go home for the long weekend.” Most students have the option to go home, but some don’t have a choice. Members of the Sacred Heart football team, dance team, band, color guard, and cheerleading are required to stay. Senior Jamie Parkan has been on the D1 Cheerleading team since her freshman year.
“I would have preferred that the homecoming game was not on Columbus Day weekend since that is the only weekend we get off from cheer and are able to go home,” said Parkan. “We even spend Winter break here preparing for Nationals so our time to go home is very limited.” Parkan said that she is used to having a busy schedule and having to be at games when they are scheduled.
In addition, Jackie Balacki, a junior on Sacred Heart’s Dance Team, also is required to stay for the game.
“My team is very upset. A bunch of us made plans to go home,” said Balacki. “It’s great to be here with my team, but it just won’t be the same. Our heads won’t really be in the game because we are focused on going home.”
Dybas, Parkan, and Balacki all feel that Sacred Heart has lacked in school spirit in past years. However, they believe that it is now improving.
“Overall, we have a much larger turnout to games that has made the game day experience much better,” said Parkan. Freshman Cameron Ward, said he is looking forward to his first game. “I was looking forward to the entire weekend and I feel like it would be better if more people were here for the whole weekend,” said Ward. Ward will be staying for the game in hopes that the team will remain undefeated. He also said that he has friends in band and color guard that he is staying to support.
Anthony Mattariello is a Sacred Heart Alumnus. He will be attending the game. “Personally I think homecoming being on Columbus Day weekend is a great idea,” said Mattariello. “Since it’s a big alumni attraction having that Monday off is a great way to get more people to game which makes it more fun for everyone.”
Mattariello said that his favorite part of Homecoming is the food trucks and the lawn games. Moreover, Dybas said that her favorite part of the game is reconnecting with alumni. Balacki said that her favorite part of the game is being with her team and showing off all their hard work.
The game will take place on Saturday Oct 6 at the William H Pitt Fitness Center Football Field.
“Missing homecoming would be very big mistake for any student,” said Mattariello. “Big events like this bring the whole school together. It’s a great way to meet new people, form strong friendships, cheer on our football team and just have a great time.”