SIU Alumni and Fraternities get ready for 80’s and 90’s Homecoming Tailgate

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The “Carbondale in the 80s and 90’s” group will be hosting a tailgate party for this year’s homecoming festivities before the football game on Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. The theme of SIU’s 2021 homecoming will be “Carbondale in the 80’s and 90’s as well.

The get-together will bring SIU together for the football game against North Dakota. Entertainment will be provided at the tailgate, including appearances by the chancellor, band members and cheerleaders, with music and food and drinks provided for those who buy tickets.

Todd Thomas, the Busch Stadium emcee for the St. Louis Cardinals, will be the host and emcee of the tailgate party as well as the DJ for the event. Thomas said the highlight of the tailgate will be the Saluki Alumni who will show up to have a great time.

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“To be honest the real entertainment is all the Saluki alumni that are there dancing, being funny, pouring jello shots, wearing funny stuff and just having a great time in Carbondale,” Thomas said.

Thomas said it will be great to reconnect with alumni and enjoy being back at SIU.

“Some people haven’t ever been back and that’s what this opens the door for,” Thomas said. “Maybe you didn’t ever reconnect with a bunch of your friends from there and all of a sudden now you have this whole group that’s around your same age and went there at the same time. 

People will also have the opportunity to give to a good cause at homecoming.  Fraternities  and sororities will be making appearances at philanthropy events at the tailgate.

Senior political science major Patrick Murphy, president of the Omega Delta fraternity, said his fraternity is hosting a pig roast to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Throughout the year we have done different events and fundraising for that organization. All of the money we raise goes to the nonprofit too. This semester we’re trying to hit 2500 dollars raised for the year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” Murphy said.

Many of the alumni that will return during homecoming this year happen to also be former members of some of these fraternities. Murphy said it’s a big highlight of homecoming to bring together some members of the past with current members.

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“I think a big cornerstone of homecoming is to bring the past and the present together in that setting,” Murphy said. “For a lot of the guys, it’s the highlight of homecoming to see a lot of alumni that we don’t see very often because they graduated and are now doing their own things. It’s important that we speak with the alumni and get their experience and their ideas”.

Homecoming week can be an extremely special time for a lot of alumni members that created long-lasting memories with people back when they were in school. 

“Homecoming at any school is great because you have a bond with those people, the university and the school and whether that be the places you ate or the people that you hung out with,” Thomas said.

 Farmhouse Social Chair Reed Jostes  said one of the main purposes of homecoming is to meet these alumni members and to network with a lot of different types of people.

“For Farmhouse this is what it’s all about. We are huge on not only brotherhood but networking,” Jostes said. “It puts out this network for you that is so stable and strong reaching many different careers. Anything you can think of, we have a connection for you and we bring that network all home again. It’s why we do what we do”.

Considering everything that has transpired over the past year and a half, being able to have the homecoming tailgate this year is special to several college students as well, Murphy said.

“It makes us think that we took a lot of stuff for granted and puts things into perspective. Even just being able to be back on campus where we were before is great, even if there are limitations in place,” Murphy said.

Jostes said students should take advantage of the fun events during homecoming week. 

“You have the rest of your life to grow up and you might be tired from school during the week because homecoming week is exhausting,” Jostes said. “Stop and take it in because this is a fun time. You really only get to do this four times and you learned last year that some of us don’t even get four chances to do this. Get your butt out there and enjoy college”.

More than 225 people bought advanced tickets before the Oct. 8 deadline. You can buy tickets at the door in Saluki Row on the day of the tailgate, Octo

Sports reporter Joseph Bernard can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @Jojobernard2001. 

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