By Jessica Salsman

The best time of the year is here. You’re settled into your classes, most of your midterms have been taken, the leaves are starting to fall off the trees and it’s Homecoming Week. Seven days of tradition and community, what says Nevada more than that? 

From the three homecomings I’ve experienced at Nevada, I can say that I have never been disappointed. This is our time to celebrate our return to the Wolf Pack! For some, that means coming back from a summer away or a semester abroad. For others, it means returning to the place you’ll always call home, whether you’ve recently graduated or have been showing your alma mater some love for years and years. 

The Asociated Students of the University of Nevada Department of Programming spends months working on this weeklong celebration because every student deserves to know what it means to be part of the Pack. Not only does it include constant entertainment, but also students are able to give back to the community through civic engagement.

Of all the athletic teams, football has the spotlight but don’t forget about the rest of our Pack. Imagine how the women’s soccer team felt Sunday night when all of their peers were supporting them out at Mackay Stadium on their senior night. Maybe it’s just for a game, but giving our support to our hardworking athletes helps to strengthen our Pack.

It’s nearing the end of October and if you walk through campus this chilly Tuesday night, look out for the hundreds of students running around half-naked. The Undie Run is a great event where students are encouraged to donate green clothing, but any color clothing will be accepted as a donation, in honor of the Nevada vs. Hawaii game on Saturday, Oct. 24. This Nevada tradition is a fun way for students to let loose a little and give back.

Every single event is worth going to, but if you have little free time and could only make it to one event, I would suggest the March from the Arch Parade. Picture the Reno community members, Nevada alumni and students all gathered downtown under the arch celebrating what Nevada means to them. Virginia Street, closed down from the Arch leading up to the Quad, is a Wolf Pack takeover with student-built floats filled with competing homecoming teams showing off their school spirit. The marching band, cheerleaders and children with their families are marching up the hill.

At the end of the parade, a pep rally takes place in the Quad. The glowing lights hanging from the tall trees stretch across the lawn of Morrill Hall. Football head coach Brian Polian gives a few encouraging words while the marching band and cheer team perform. Nevadaville, transformed this year into a Hawaiian paradise, is constructed around the Quad with student-run booths full of fun for the community. The smell of food trucks lingers through the air.  If that doesn’t sound like the most beautiful night that you’ll experience in the Quad, then throw a grand finale of fireworks into the mix.

This magical night sets the tone for the big game on Saturday where the Pack takes Hawaii. If you weren’t excited about football before, you will definitely wish you reserved a ticket for the game. If school spirit isn’t for you and sounds overwhelming, try and push yourself out of your comfort zone and have a little fun. The worst outcome is that you spent a few hours trying something new. The best possible thing that will happen is you’ll enjoy yourself and feel a little more connected to the university. Let’s give back to the community and alumni who have given so much to ensure the academic success of students for years to come. See you under the arch!