Clubs pour heart and soul into homecoming floats

Although the homecoming parade is canceled, judges will be evaluating clubs' floats per normal schedule. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Sarah Jennings, Reporter

Although the Baylor homecoming parade has been canceled due to weather conditions, the creative, extravagant and quirky floats will be judged at their regular time as tradition prevails.

Houston senior Kelsey Petrie, former float chair for Alpha Chi Omega, said the judges will still come to each float site this morning, despite the canceled parade. At this time, the judges will check for completion and decide on rankings. A showcasing of the floats will be announced at a later date.

“It really is a team effort,” said Richardson senior Maelyn Schramm. “It’s cool to see the end product, and think every Tri Delta and ATO member put something towards this, whether it’s creativity or physical work. It’s cool to know we all built this together. It wasn’t easy all of the time. But it is definitely worth it in the end to look at the final product. You’re like ‘Wow, we made something that we really appreciate, and people can appreciate as well.’”

Baylor University Dining Services sponsored a float in the 1970 Baylor Homecoming Parade Photo credit: Courtesy of the Texas Collection

Bossier City senior Christine Reddy said the minimum required hours per member vary by organization, but on average, students involved give an hour a week. Float construction begins within the first three weeks of the fall semester. Float chairs in particular sacrifice a huge amount of work, time and energy.

“If you’re a float chair, it’s an everyday thing,” Reddy said. “They’re there four to five hours every day.”

Petrie said float chairs from every participating fraternity and sorority are elected in the spring semester and begin meeting as early as March.

Organizations pair up based on mutual selection — a process that helps float chairs choose a partnering organizations. Float committees are limited to choosing organizations within their same class, which is determined by budget. Monetary guidelines for Homecoming 2015 required maximum expenditures of $1,750 for Class C floats and $2,250 for Class B floats.


Tradition dictates extreme secrecy around the float themes and location of the warehouses where construction takes place.

Themes, including a diagram and detailed description, are due to Baylor Chamber on the morning of Diadeloso from the previous semester. Since themes from the last four years can’t be repeated, competition runs high to get first choice of theme. Thus, float chairs begin lining up in the early hours of the morning.

For the average Greek life student, the week approaching Homecoming requires more time, even in addition to commitments like Pigskin, midterms and recruitment.

“It’s really fun the night before,” Schramm said. “Everyone’s like ‘Alright, let’s finish it.’ People will bring food, and we’ll play music. Everyone’s there. We’re working hard, but we’re having fun. I love the night before; it’s like a big party.”

Overall, Schramm said she found the time and effort worthwhile because of the bonding of working alongside others. She said her group tries to maintain a standard of excellence and put forth their best in all they do.

park the floats outside of Waco Hall for everyone to come by and see,” Petrie said. “So that’s really cool, because the community can gather around Waco
Hall, around Judge Baylor and Pat Neff—the most picturesque place on campus. It’s really fun to see alumni come. They’ll take pictures with
their kid outside your float.”