By Luke Mich
On April 10, Saint Vincent held its first football game at Chuck Noll Field since the 2019 season. This game had a special importance, as it was designated the Homecoming game, with the annual ceremony of the Homecoming court and the crowning of Homecoming King and Queen. Kyle Watson, crowned Homecoming King for the 2020-21 school year, detailed how the first Homecoming ceremony during the COVID-19 era took place.
“The crowning this year took place during halftime of the home football game against Waynesburg,” Watson, a senior integrated science major, said.
Besides not taking place during the fall like traditional football seasons, Watson said the only difference for this Homecoming compared to previous ones was that there no parade prior to the ceremony.
Mary Popp, Carlee Kilgus, Jenna Lafko, Sarah Maidment, Lauren McSwigan, Tom Bash, Gesco Camille, Michael Cella and Matthew Evans were members of the Homecoming Court. Popp was crowned Homecoming Queen.
As expected, COVID-19 and student handbook regulations were still held in place for those students watching the game and ceremony, as well as for those on the court. An internal residence life memo noted that students would be expected to sit in a designated section on the grass, instead of in the bleachers.
“The way we walked was a bit different because we couldn’t do it in pairs, so we had to walk by ourselves,” Watson noted.
The large spectator turnout did lead to some discipline problems, according to a Student Affairs email that was sent to all students on April 14.
“Unfortunately, many Health and Safety Policy and other conduct violations took place at last Saturday’s game. Concerns have been voiced from a number of attendees sharing how upset, offended and concerned they are about the actions they witnessed - actions which do not reflect Saint Vincent’s values,” the email said.
According to a Review writer who attended the game, those violations included obscene jeering and harassment by fans as well as extensive public drinking. Numerous students appeared to violate distancing guidelines. In response, Residence Life initiated new precautions for the April 17 home football game. Spectators at that game did not turn rowdy.