Last week, hundreds of students and alumni gathered on campus to participate in homecoming festivities. Despite a slow start to the football season, Niner Pride seems to be stronger than ever.
The Homecoming Kickoff was held in the Student Union on Sunday. Students were able to take advantage of free food, games, shirts and raffles, including the chance to win free parking for a year. For one student though, all that matters is seeing the support for the university grow.
“I love the sea of green,” said sophomore Aaron Thomas. “It’s awesome to see so many people wearing UNC Charlotte colors. What’s the point of going to a school if you aren’t proud to be here?”
Thomas admitted to being a bit discouraged when he sees people wearing clothes on campus representing other schools.
“I get we have a lot of transfers, but it’s amazing how many people proudly rock a UNC or NC State shirt on campus,” Thomas said. “Homecoming is awesome because the only color you see on campus is green.”
On Tuesday, students got their daily dose of laughter when Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, and SNL alum Jay Pharaoh arrived on campus for the Homecoming Comedy Show in Halton Arena.
“The show started off a little shaky at first, but it was hilarious,” said senior Chad Bates. “It was just like watching SNL in person, Jay Pharaoh’s punchlines are like no other.”
The show was well-attended, as Davidson and Pharoah delivered their acts. The two comedians, known for their politically incorrect humor, talked about a variety of subjects like politics and social issues to keep the crowd laughing for two hours.
“I’d definitely go see it again,” Bates said. “It was just the right type of humor college students would enjoy.”
Other events throughout the week included Trivia Night, Basketball Madness, Rave on Crave, and the Homecoming Stroll Competition, all of which led up to the Homecoming Parade.
Students and alumni watched from the front of the Student Union as floats representing different campus organizations passed by. The parade also featured performances from the Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band, and UNC Charlotte cheerleaders. The Grand Marshal of the parade was for former UNC Charlotte basketball and NBA player Eddie Basden.
The highlight of the week came at the Homecoming Football Game, where Charlotte stunned UAB after completing a two-point conversion to win their first game of the season in overtime. At halftime, junior Tyriq Evans and senior Ena Walker were crowned homecoming king and queen.
“What a way to end homecoming,” said Thomas. “Football doesn’t really get much better than that. We really needed the win, especially after the season we’ve had so far. So many people were there to support the team. That’s the kind of atmosphere our stadium needs to have.”
With the hype surrounding the first win of the season, Thomas hopes it’ll motivate people to come out to games.
“I get that not everyone is a super fan,” said Thomas. “But just showing up and wearing green can make a huge difference.”