VIKING DAYS FACES CHANGES IN 2014

Homecoming moved to September

KAYLYN DEITER

kkdeiter13@ole.augie.edu

 mtoso

The 61st annual Viking Days homecoming festivities originally set for Oct. 31-Nov. 2, were rescheduled to Sept. 26-28 due to student and alumni complaints.

“There were a multitude of reasons for changing the date, but the primary reason was that a September celebration of Viking Days better served both our student body and our alumni,” director of alumni relations Mary Toso said.

After sending out save the date promotions for the original weekend to alumni, administration staff received feedback concerning the feasibility of accommodating both a homecoming visit to Augie and family commitments surrounding the Halloween holiday.

“Many alumni had prior family commitments, often with young children, that they would not be able to miss,” Toso said.

Administration staff also heard from members of Student Services who were concerned about balancing a Friday night Halloween celebration on top of Viking Days events.

“Students wanted to be able to celebrate both events on separate weekends, so moving the date to September seemed to appease everyone and address 99 percent of the concerns voiced by many,” Toso said.

Assistant director of communications Katie Foutz added that all involved with Viking Days knew that this decision was not made in a vacuum.

“There were multiple areas represented in these scheduling conversations, including Student Activities, Student Services, the Performing and Visual Arts, Alumni Relations, Advancement and Athletics, and in the end it was a unanimous decision that the date change would be positive for Augustana and all involved,” Foutz said.

So far the public reception to the date change has been nothing but positive, with the sole exception being the extra effort involved in re-promoting the new date to alumni who were previously informed of the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 homecoming weekend.

Junior spirit squad captain Jennifer Kvigne supported the date change.

“The weather at the end of October can be incredibly unpredictable and activities like the parade and football game are more enjoyable with nice weather,” she said.  “However, it will be more difficult to finish routines and plans before the new date.”

Fellow spirit squad member, freshman Alyssa Klimisch, said she’s happy about the date change.

“A game earlier in the season means nicer weather which always brings more fans to the game,” she said.  “It’s always more fun to cheer when we have a good crowd and it’s not freezing cold.”

Ultimately, Toso and Foutz both reiterated that they want students and alumni alike to be included in all aspects of the Viking Days celebration.

“Since we have made the announcement to alumni, we have received overwhelming positive feedback, and we believe students will feel the same,” Toso said.