By Curt Yeomans
The parade of seven golf carts wound its way through Clayton State University's campus, as if there was nothing out of place about it.
Most students did not look up to take a gander at what was passing by them, except to take notice of the cheerleaders screaming to them from the lead cart.
But, something was out of place about these carts. They were decorated to resemble houses. One cart, which represented the teacher-education program, had a "yellow brick road" on the front. It was followed by an evil witch and a good witch; a lion; a hip hop scarecrow; a munchkin who occasionally strayed off the course to welcome people to "Munchkin Land," and -- of course -- a Dorothy.
The theme of the parade was "There's No Place Like Home," and it was part of a week-long homecoming celebration at Clayton State. The theme touches on alumni coming back to campus, and the university opening its first on-campus student housing facility this year.
"We wanted to have something that said 'Welcome Home' to our alumni, but was also connected to the student housing facility," said Gid Rowell, director of Clayton State's Alumni Association. "The university has changed a lot in the last year and a half, especially, with all the new things that have been built on campus.
"We would like to bring back our alumni, so they can see everything that has happened over the last year."
One change which has occurred as a result of on-campus housing is the homecoming week programming. Rowell said the university has usually done one night event -- at the most -- during homecoming week in years past. This year, there are six, night-time events, including two nights of powder-puff flag football games; a comedy showcase, and a stepshow followed by an after-party.
"The powder-puff flag football game we had on Tuesday drew a couple hundred people, which is probably more than we've ever had for an intramural event," said Rowell. "We're also doing a homecoming ball on Saturday night, which is something we've never done before."
Rashonda Harris, a sophomore from Lovejoy, said that while the number of traditional students involved in homecoming events has picked up, the university needs to target another group.
"They should try to get more non-traditional students involved," said Harris. "We are seeing more people involved this year, but we need to get more non-traditional students to participate so the events can be more representative of the entire student body."
Other homecoming events, which will take place today and Saturday, include:
· Hot 107.9 FM will do a live remote from Clayton State from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., at Clayton State's new Student Activities Center.
· The powder-puff flag football championship game will be held at 5 p.m., at Laker Field.
· Clayton State's fraternities and sororities will hold a step show from 7 - 9:30 p.m., at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
· A stepshow afte-party will be held from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m., at the Student Activities Center.
· The Alumni Association's annual pancake breakfast, which is open to all students, faculty, alumni and friends of the university, will be held from 9-11 a.m., in the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education.
· Clayton State's various colleges and schools will hold reunion events from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., at various locations around campus.
· Clayton State's men's soccer team will play Georgia Southwestern State University at 1 p.m., at Laker Field. The coronation of the homecoming king and queen will take place during half-time.
· Clayton State's women's soccer team will play Georgia Southwestern at 3:30 p.m., at Laker Field.
· The Clayton State Department of Athletics will host an alumni women's basketball game at 5:30 p.m., at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
· The Student Government Association will host a homecoming ball at 6:30 p.m., in the ballroom of the Student Activities Center.