Giving back should be a part of the homecoming tradition

By Courtney Sosnowski | Reporter

Homecoming is a time to reflect on traditions. For Baylor, one word that easily fits into our legacy is service, because it’s a part of Baylor’s Christian mission.

Greek life invests a lot of time in homecoming. The long hours of rehearsals for Pigskin Revue and endless pomping of tissue paper for a float are part of the joyful agony of this tradition. These things remind the alumni of their time at Baylor and show them who we are today.

Greek life also invests a lot of money in homecoming. An organization can participate in one of the three classes of float, depending on the amount of money they want to contribute toward building the float. Class A has a budget of $15,000, Class B, $5,000, Class C, $2,500; all this money adds up.

Of course homecoming should be about celebrating Baylor. But what if it were about more than that? Instead of directing hundreds of hours of planning and thousands of dollars toward the float, why not focus those resources toward another part of the Baylor tradition –– giving back.

Baylor alumni have gone on to become public servants, start non profits, pastor churches and have built their careers around a lifestyle of service that they were encouraged to seek out during their time at Baylor. Students are encouraged to have a bigger picture in mind when it comes to opportunities to volunteer in Waco. It’s clear that the Baylor family wants to be good stewards and give back in thanks for the many blessings that we have received.

There are several different ways Baylor could go about giving back. Most Greek organizations are involved with some philanthropic work nationally or locally and spend a significant amount of time trying to raise money for these organizations. Maybe portions of the float budget could go toward philanthropy, or floats could be themed toward a specific cause to raise awareness.

The founders of the first Baylor homecoming wrote on the invitation in 1909: “It is not to be the occasion for the raising of money for any purpose.” The integrity of homecoming should be protected from becoming a big fundraiser. This shouldn’t be a fundraiser for the university, but for outreach in the Waco community. Beyond changing float budgets, perhaps a portion of the Pigskin or football tickets could be donated to a worthy cause.

Baylor has taught me about the power of numbers. I have seen the organizations I belong to make a difference in the world because our hearts beat for a common purpose. What better way to extend that passion than to let the whole Baylor family join in?