Based on the success of last year’s Hoya Homecoming Weekend, committee members and coordinators have decided to maintain a similar format this year.

This year’s Homecoming Weekend, from Oct. 7-10, will aim at expanding the appeal of Homecoming weekend and extending it to all aspects of Georgetown beyond the football game and tailgate.

Last year, the university prohibited students and alumni from bringing cars to the traditional football tailgate because of a lack of outdoor parking space and a push to deemphasize drinking.

The tailgating moved from Lot T, which had become the staging area for construction of a new performing arts center, to the cDonough parking lot. In addition, participants were no longer allowed to bring their own food and drink.

Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs, said he was very pleased with the feedback he received after last year’s Homecoming festivities.

“Anytime you make a major change it takes some adapting, but I’m surprised at how positive the feedback was from both students and alumni,” he said.

This year’s Homecoming weekend marks the second year of a three-year development plan.

“After over a year of dedication on the part of the Homecoming Committee, we were able to cultivate a comprehensive weekend much more representative of Georgetown’s longstanding tradition and school spirit,” Homecoming Co-Chair Patrick Hughes (COL ’05) said.

Matthew Lambert, director of Class Advancement for the Office of Alumni and University Relations, noted that the weekend has extended to more aspects of the Georgetown community.

“We have been able to develop a weekend program that engages all parts of the community,” Lambert said.

Lambert added that attendance at last year’s events had increased to over 5,000 attendees last year, making the overall weekend more attractive for alumni while also involving students.

“We have to keep in mind that this event is something that is also for the alumni, and I believe that we are working positively to adjust to this fact and attract a growing number of interested alumni,” he said.

In response to a combination of student and faculty input, committee members have instituted a number of changes for next weekend’s activities, intending to attract a more diverse range of alumni.

“This year, we have added more events, in addition to strengthening those we already had in place last year,” Hughes said.

The tailgate will now offer an expanded food selection, including more food lines, beer trucks and a giant tent in front of cDonough Gymnasium.

The committee is also working towards coordinating the tailgate and football game into a more collaborative event so that the tailgate does not detract attention from the game itself, Olson said.

The Homecoming committee has also raised the price of the tailgate slightly in order to make future Homecoming weekends financially stable over time. Students will pay $10 to receive an all-you-can-eat barbeque and drinks, regardless of whether they are of drinking age or not.

“We raised the price just so we can make this a more sustainable and better program in future years,” Lambert said, “But I personally think it’s still a bargain.”

Last year, the university provided unlimited beer and barbeque for $5 or unlimited food and soda for $3.

“The tailgate is tremendously popular, so we don’t think the increased price level will be too much of a problem,” Olson said.

Some students, however, are not as pleased with the price increase for the tailgate.

“I think this increase is unfair for people who don’t drink. I liked how they split up prices in the past, but now I have to pay $10 if I just want to eat a hamburger,” Ana Tellez (SFS ’06) said.

A new event, “Georgetown’s Funniest Act on Campus,” will replace the traditional Friday night concert.

The comedy act will feature Georgetown’s undergraduate comedians followed by comedian Mike Birbiglia (COL ’00), known for his previous appearances on campus during New Student Orientation. Georgetown Program Board will sponsor the event.

Hoya Homecoming will once again offer the Hilltop Challenge 5K on Saturday morning, due to the extreme popularity of last year’s race, which had over 160 participants.

Other events will include a community service opportunity, Homecoming Lend-A-Hand, student organization alumni receptions, the Patrick Healy Dinner, the annual homecoming mass, and the Hamilton Homecoming Debate.

Homecoming Co-Chair Christina Besozzi said she is pleased with the enthusiasm Georgetown students are exhibiting for next weekend’s events.

“The student involvement has been amazing so far. We already have some 200 to 220 volunteers working for two-hour shifts at the tailgate,” she said. “We are definitely moving in a positive direction.”

Olson said he believes that students, alumni, faculty and staff have successfully built Hoya Homecoming Weekend into something that will remain a strong tradition.

“What a lot of students at Georgetown are committed to is a great position of tradition,” he said. “We have Traditions Day, Georgetown Day, and Fountain Day, and now Homecoming weekend will join in those traditions.”

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