As one of the largest, most publicized events of the year, there is more that goes into Homecoming than the main attractions. Behind the multi-day celebration is the Steering Committee, a student-run organization dedicated to creating University of Missouri’s Homecoming. From annual events like the blood drive to new events like the Homecoming 5K, SteerCo members are the wizards behind the curtain.
SteerCo began planning in November of 2016 by choosing the tri-directors then starting intensive planning work in mid-February 2017, according to Tri-Director Cole Edwards. Planning continued throughout the year, into the summer and then ramped up as the fall semester began. Being the largest student-run homecoming in the nation, Edwards believes everything achieved is due to the committed individuals within SteerCo.
“Our Steering Committee is a great group of people that are super driven and motivated, and we can always count on them to pull through,” Edwards said.
Merchandise committee member Jasmine Saenz applied for SteerCo in order to be a part of one of her favorite MU events. Being a senior, Saenz wanted to see Homecoming in a different, behind-the-scenes light in her final year at MU.
“I definitely wanted to apply just because Homecoming is such a huge part of Mizzou, and I’m a senior this year, so to be on the other end of things, of something that Mizzou cherishes so much, is super amazing,” Saenz said. “You really see everything come to life, so it’s really awesome to see so much school spirit in one place.”
Edwards is thrilled to be a part of creating one of MU’s most cherished events, and he hopes to help other students enjoy Homecoming the way he has during his time at MU.
“My favorite part is honestly being able to be a part of just about every aspect of Homecoming, being able to give back to Mizzou,” Edwards said. “From my freshman year on, Homecoming was just super important to me, and it’s been one of my favorite things here at Mizzou.”
Similarly to Edwards, Saenz is honored to have a role in planning Homecoming. Working on Homecoming merchandise specifically, Saenz is ecstatic to see students and staff wearing her hard work.
“Seeing people wear the shirts and stuff is pretty awesome because we dealt with them for such a long time, and you really see how big Homecoming really is,” Saenz said. “Then you can definitely say ‘Oh, I’m a part of this.’ You’re a part of something bigger than yourself, which is really awesome.”
While Saenz’s favorite part is watching her merchandise spread throughout campus, campus decorations committee member Trent Wideman loves the opportunity SteerCo offers him to meet a diverse group of people, both in SteerCo and through his job coordinating house and club decorations.
“We have people from all walks of life, all organizations on campus,” Wideman said. “Really, people just have their foot in the door of a lot of different things, so getting to meet a lot of those people who are all similar minded about Mizzou … and Mizzou Homecoming is something I’ve really enjoyed.”
As SteerCo nears Homecoming weekend, Wideman encourages everyone to participate in the Homecoming events.
“Without the thousands and thousands of people that come out for Homecoming, it wouldn’t be what it is,” Wideman said. “So, being involved in whatever that you can possibly come to would be the only thing that I would ... ask people to do.”
Edited by Brooke Collier | firstname.lastname@example.org