This year Homecoming Weekend for the Student Alumni Association (SAA), one of the biggest organizations on campus was October 15th – October 16th. The association provides students with opportunities to connect with alumni and the Merced community to help prepare them for the contributions they could make once they graduate. Other programs that SAA provides the UC Merced campus with are CATSPOTS and the bridge crossing ceremony during the ASCEND Conference. When it comes to Homecoming, the weekend was packed with fun events centered around making connections with the UC Merced community.
Saturday kicked off with on-campus events such as the Giving Tuesday Scholarship Reception where UCM students mingled with alumni and Chancellor Leland as they celebrated winning the award. Next, the festivities moved from the Dining Center to the Amphitheatre engaging everyone in activities that further connected current students to alumni. Saturday evening ended with the LYNX Tailgate on the Mariposa Lawn. LYNX stands for Let Your Network X-pand and that is exactly what was able to happen.
Spread out across the Lawn were four inflatables, two Fork in the Road carts, the famous Mac Doogles Kettle Corn stand and TONS of cotton candy. Residents flocked from all over housing to race their friends on the obstacle course inflatable while alumni and their families spent several minutes trying to throw a football in the hole at the carnival booth further down the lawn. “I had a good time hanging out with my roommate and making memories,” said Jose Torres, a resident of Mariposa.
SAA even brought out a fun playlist that kept everyone singing and dancing along. With the help of the Sierra Terraces Housing Staff, all who attended were provided with a fun and safe space to build/strengthen relationships, which is exactly what SAA intended. Attendees were able to let off steam and take a breath after a busy season of work and school. Anthony Alvarez, a fourth year student who is a member of the Student Alumni Association thought, “The LYNX Tailgate was a great experience and a good way to get some relaxation time during midterm season.”
After the Tailgate ended attendees were encouraged to cross the street to watch the women’s volleyball game. Our Lady Bobcats emerged victorious with a 3-1 win. The eventful weekend continued on Sunday morning with Happy Healthy Homecoming Bootcamp located in downtown Merced and ended with a Barbeque Brunch at BBQ Pit that afternoon. The SAA worked hard to plan a fun packed weekend for everyone and it seems as if they definitely accomplished their goal.
Photo credits: Jocelyn Foster