Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Uniting the SIU community past and present with Homecoming events

Uniting+the+SIU+community+past+and+present+with+Homecoming+events

Homecoming events will be taking place all across campus this week as a “celebration of Southern Illinois as our home away from home!”

Events will include a Saluki Block Party, an NLE Choppa concert, a multitude of alumni events and more.

With alumni, students and other members of the SIU community participating in events, the school can allow people to broaden connections and reconnect with one another.

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Cathy Mieldezis, director of member relations for the SIU Alumni Association, said that by alumni coming back, especially when students are here, they can meet and mingle with students who are currently enrolled.

“I think it helps alumni understand the importance of our scholarships and helping students in not just coming here, but matriculating, and being able to graduate by those retention scholarships,” Mieldezis said.

Coming back to campus allows alumni to give students support, by just meeting them and through one-on-one mentoring.

“I think it’s important that they’re coming back during school, because they can see the activities of campus,” Meildezis said.

The ‘80s and ‘90s tailgate, with SIU’s Alumni Association, is an example of one such activity. This is the largest tailgate the association has had since 2019, when it first started out.

“I think we hit about right at 400 [people] last year and we’re nearly at 500 this year,” Mieldezis said.

She said those who attend are people that graduated within those two decades, and a lot of them didn’t even know each other when they were on campus. However, now they have come back, and have been able to make friendships through their shared connection from up to 40 years ago.

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“I think it’s just a way of reconnecting them to campus, and then to each other and to people they may not have ever met because…when you’re a student, a lot of times you’re so busy with work and with school that sometimes it’s just those few people that you’re in class with that you really get to know,” Mieldezis said.

Homecoming is a time for alumni to reminisce about their own time at SIU with people who genuinely care about the institution.

“When you’re connecting to people at these, you’re connecting to other people that are truly connected to SIU. They didn’t just graduate from here and then go, ‘I got my degree, but yeah, I don’t care anymore,’ they’re really connected.”

Emily Bakri is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. This year, she and her sorority will be participating in float building for the Homecoming Parade, and will also be tailgating prior to Saturday’s football game.

Bakri said, “Homecoming events benefit the SIU community because they bring people together and give people a sense of family and excitement. It allows SIU Greek life to come together between multiple different organizations and work towards a common goal.”

Students and the organizations they are currently involved in have the opportunity to share their work with the community and their fellow peers.

“Homecoming is important because it is a great way to see the true SIU experience and feel connected to the community, alumni and fellow students. It’s exciting to be around other students and cheer on the Salukis with the Dawg Pound,” Bakri said.

 

Here are some highlights for the week:

Wednesday, Oct. 18

A Saluki Luau Lunch will be hosted in the Student Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saluki Food Pantry and RSOs are working to sponsor a food drive to benefit SIU students. Donations can be dropped off at the Luau Lunch.

Thursday, Oct. 19

The Saluki Block Party will have games, a photo booth, rides and a DJ for students and the community. Food and drinks will be offered for purchase at the event. Head to Lincoln Drive by Pulliam at 5-8 p.m. to take part.

Friday, Oct. 20

The Beta Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will be hosting the 2023 Homecoming Step Show. Greeks on campus will be performing their step routines in Shryock Auditorium at 7 p.m. to showcase their organizations.

Saturday, Oct. 21

The Saluki Homecoming Tailgate will be held at Saluki Row from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Head to Saluki Stadium at 2 p.m. to watch the SIU Homecoming football game against South Dakota State.

Alumni Events 

Check out the Alumni Association page or their Facebook to find all of the various alumni events!

A full schedule of events can be found on the SIU website.

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