Homecoming Rules… and other factors may influence attendance
By Gwenna Ihrie
This year’s Homecoming, on October 1st, holds promise for the students at Lincoln High who are tired of the dirty dancing that ruined many of people’s Homecoming last year.
Students who attended Homecoming last year were punished by having the lights turned on during the dance, because some were inappropriately dancing and “grinding.”
After the lights were turned on, and after the 20 minutes of waiting to find out who won Homecoming royalty, several students left.
Instructional Coordinator Russ Uhing said, “We were concerned with some of the dancing going on.”
Many students were upset by this administrative decision, and some are now saying they won’t go to Homecoming this year if the lights are turned on.
According to administrators, the lights should not be an issue this year.
“Softer lighting will be part of the decor, but it won’t be as harsh as the overhead gym lights,” Student Council Adviser Malinda Burk said. Associate Principal Jessie Carlson is calling it “dusky.”
“The bad thing about turning on the lights is that it punishes everybody, and we don’t want to do that,” Uhing said. “We want the people who are there and doing the right things to be there, have fun and enjoy it,” he said.
In order to keep the lights off, all students must wear a wristband given at the door. This is now a district-wide policy for Homecomings.
The wristband must be worn the whole time the student is at the dance. If the band is not on, the student will be asked to leave the dance.
“Accepting that wristband is a student acknowledging what the expectations are,” Carlson clarified. “Students are going to be expected to know what those expectations are and follow them,” Uhing added.
A student will also be asked to leave after receiving two notices for inappropriate dancing. The first time, the wrist band will get a punch to indicate a warning. The second time the student will be asked to leave the dance.
“The point is that it is a school activity, and we want to have a safe environment that is respectful to everybody involved,” Uhing said about the effects of the wristbands. “If somebody’s doing things they shouldn’t, they’re going to get a warning, and if they don’t change, they’re not going to be able to be there,” Uhing said.
Despite the new rules, administrators are hopeful for a big turnout.
“I think the majority of students are going to be in favor of this. By having a good environment, kids are still going to have a great time, and I think we’ll have a lot of people there like we always do.
Senior Abi Sanders says she isn’t going to Homecoming this year. “They play tasteless music, and I don’t like grinding,” Sanders said. Many students would agree, but this year, students also have the opportunity to pick the music.
Carlson said, “If students have songs they would like to have played, they can go to request songs outside of Ms. Burk’s room in S233, and then we’ll send those to the DJ for him to decide if they’re appropriate or not.” Requests for songs will not be taken on the night of the dance.
The scheduling of the dance may also cause problems. “I have a volleyball tournament in Omaha,” Varsity Volleyball player junior Tiona Brown said. Brown says this is the reason she will not attend Homecoming this year.
Another factor is the game itself, which begins at 6 p.m. at Beechner Athletic Complex. The dance is supposed to start at 8:30 p.m. This makes preparation for the dance difficult for most of the football players and many others who will attend the game and then the dance.
As if that weren’t enough, another challenge for this year’s Homecoming attendance is Southeast’s Homecoming, which is also on October 1st.
“No matter when we have it there will be conflicts,” Uhing said. Lots of schools have the game and the dance on the same day he added. “We hope the majority of folks can get there.”
All of these factors may turn some people away, but they won’t stop everyone. Sophomore Shaundra Freeman is going anyway. “You can dance as crazy as you want, but as long as you have friends then it doesn’t matter what others think or say,” Freeman said. Senior Eric Holt has similar feelings. “The music is awful, and my dancing is worse, but being with friends and acting ridiculous always make it fun,” Holt said.
That’s the attitude that organizers and administrators are hoping for.