Last updated on Dec 16, 2021
By Ella Barrington, Staff Writer
Due to the reduced social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Post was to finally host their homecoming weekend after two years of not being able to. Events took place from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18. LIU faced Merrimack for a football game on Saturday, Oct. 16 and lost 43-5.
Starting the weekend off was the evening carnival at the Pratt parking lot on Friday, Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.. This was one of the students’ favorite events because it had festival foods such as fried Oreos and funnel cakes, along with carnival-style games and hair-raising rides that were also running the next day before and during the football game.
Sophomore biology major Jah’Liyah Bedminster said that the carnival was her favorite part of the entire weekend.
“Being able to let loose and come together to do things like eat funnel cake and enjoy fun rides like a family is really what made this weekend so special,” she said.
Bedminster also believes that the carnival was a great way to relieve stress as midterms approach.
“Last year was incredibly stressful with COVID, and having to follow social distancing guidelines, it was really hard to lean on friends for emotional support during hard times of the semester like midterm week,” Bedminster said. “The carnival was a great way to relieve some of the academic pressure that students may be feeling.”
Post has not had a home football game since Nov. 23, 2019. This makes homecoming weekend the first in-person game that Shark fans have been able to see at Post in almost two years. Performances from the marching band, the dance team and the cheer team throughout the game helped the excitement for the atmosphere of the student and family section cheering on the Sharks.
Graduate student Killian Bloat has never attended a football game at Post before homecoming. As a baseball alumni, Bloat misses the atmosphere of home games.
“Hearing the crowd cheer for my friends on the field really made me reminisce [about] my time as a Shark athlete,” he said. “Even though LIU lost the game, memories were gained and everyone seemed to enjoy their first homecoming back and that’s all that really matters.”
Bloat said that his favorite part of the weekend was the game, but also the festivities that went with the game.
“The food, the atmosphere, the fan section, the souvenirs, and the ability to be together – All of this made my homecoming weekend unforgettable,” he said.
Brooklyn students had the opportunity to take a shuttle from the Brooklyn campus to join Post students in their celebration of being Sharks. Students, like junior student athlete Katy Koopman, who also had never been to a Shark football game, believes that having the other half of LIU sharing the homecoming experience was important.
“I was shocked that I was even able to meet other student athletes from the Brooklyn campus,” Koopman said. “I’m glad I did because now we can see each other at upcoming events, like Midnight Madness, and attend each other’s competitions.”
The tailgate is tradition for homecoming, and this year it brought students together after over a year of virtual events. Koopman believes that tailgating with her friends and teammates after the game was another great way to meet new people, and can’t wait to do it again next year.
“Because [Post] is so small, my expectations were a little low for this year’s homecoming, but the fact that it is small makes it so unique and personal because everyone knows everyone and we’re all close with each other,” she said.
The celebration continued through Sunday, Oct. 17, with relaxing events for students to attend throughout the day, including indoor and outdoor movies at the Hillwood Commons Cinema and Riggs Park. Students were brought together to enjoy a sunset that wrapped up the entire weekend filled with friends, families and alumni that came to Post to enjoy the Sharks.