Traditions Day and Homecoming weekend are joining forces this year for a five-day blitz of Hoya spirit culminating with this Saturday’s Homecoming game, marking the first time the two events have been held concurrently.

Planners approved the new schedule believing that Traditions Day, extended this year into a three-day program, would lead nicely into Homecoming weekend, Homecoming Committee Chair Jerry Graunke (SFS ’07) said.

“The idea of combining the two days has been talked about for the last couple years,” he said. “Due to Homecoming being so late this year, we felt like this year could serve as a test to see if the combination succeeded, and thus far we are extremely happy with how it has turned out.”

Shared advertising resources, increased publicity and higher attendance have been some of the benefits from combining the two events, said Vanessa Otarola (NHS ’08), chair of the Traditions Day committee.

“With Homecoming being more well-known, we were able to bring more attention to Traditions Week,” Otarola said. “We were able to work off one another.”

Martha Swanson, director of student programs, called the pairing “a natural match” and noted that Traditions Day usually does not receive as much publicity as it has this year.

Swanson said that the new schedule will probably not be repeated, however, since Homecoming is set for September next year, which some members of the Traditions Day Committee said was disappointing.

Gaby Baca (SFS ’08), a member of the Traditions Day committee, said it was unlikely that Traditions Day would be moved earlier in the year. She said that it is typically held in the first week of November – rather than earlier in the year – because it serves as a “much-needed break after midterms.”

“This time in November is when people are most stressed out because of midterms,” Baca said. “It would defeat the theme . if we had it in September.”

Graunke said that he was unsure what relationship Traditions Week and Homecoming may have in future years.

“From a Homecoming perspective, I would greatly encourage the idea, but that question will have to be addressed by the next Traditions Day Chair,” he said.

The new schedule spreads out signature Traditions Day events over the course of three days. Activities began on Wednesday with the President’s Cup, a trivia game that pitted representatives from all four schools against each other.

Yesterday it continued with performances by two Georgetown a capella groups – the Chimes and the Saxatones – and a screening of January’s men’s basketball upset against Duke University, both in O’Donovan Hall.

It concludes today with a barbecue on Copley Lawn.

Homecoming Weekend will remain largely the same as previous years, featuring the second annual Mr. Georgetown Pageant tonight and a 5-kilometer race on Saturday morning. The weekend will culminate with a Hoya football game tomorrow afternoon against arist College.

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