Homecoming + Family Weekend brings out the games and the appetite

Rachel Dvareckas & Connor Midgley, Herald Contributors

Casino Night

Casino Night was the first event to kick off RWU’s Homecoming and Family Weekend. From 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. on Oct. 19, a number of casino games were set up in the Field House, where students and their parents could play to earn chips that they could cash in for a raffle. The games consisted of typical casino fare: Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and a prize wheel. In addition, a Nintendo Wii with Mario Kart was available; players who scored the most at the end of their game, depending on what places they came in, would be the winners. Among the prizes offered at the raffle were a Polaroid camera, wireless headphones, a Magnavox TV, a Keurig coffee maker, and various gift bundles. While all of these casino games were going on, bingo was being hosted in the student senate chambers. In a round, any player who got all of the letter-and-number combinations in a certain pattern won and got to pick a prize. The prizes here included water bottles, sunglasses, jigsaw puzzles, paddle balls, markers, and stress balls. Food, drinks, and music were present throughout the event as well.


Homecoming 5K

Saturday morning was overcast and windy, but that didn’t stop anyone from running in the homecoming five-kilometer race. People of all ages, from young kids to parents, participated in the run that started in front of the Recreation Center and consisted of two loops around campus. Many athletes and teams ran the course. Men and women’s cross country teams wore their uniforms and ran together, and many people proudly wearing their RWU shirts entered the run.

Maggie Joyce was one of the parents who decided to participate in the event. She was already coming to the school for Homecoming and Family Weekend and she enjoys running, so the 5K was perfect for her. Joyce likes the school because her daughter is happy here and the size is perfect for her.

“It is a great way to see the campus,” Joyce said.

Each runner was given a t-shirt and a number to wear while they ran. In the minutes before the run began, people were gathered in groups stretching and warming up. Supporters lined the side of the road near Commons and cheered the runners on.

As it got closer to the official start of the 5K, the runners packed together and prepared to start. As soon as the timer started, the runners were off. They ran around campus twice and ended by running through the finish line marked by colorful flags.


Autumn  Fest

Saturday’s big event was Autumn Fest, which took place on the Commons Quad. This was an afternoon filled with food, music, and fun activities. The day started out windy and dreary, but by the time afternoon rolled around, the sun came out and the wind died down. Walking closer to the event, the aroma of freshly popped kettle corn filled the air and the sounds of a cappella groups performing in front of the Recreation Center resonated across the quad.

A carousel bouncy house, carnival games, and food stations were only a few of the attractions that were spread across the quad. The lines for fried dough and Kona Ice were consistently long. Mr. RWU contestants raised money for charity at the event by selling make-your-own caramel apples. Overall, Autumn Fest was perfect for all ages and provided entertainment for small children, students, parents, and grandparents.

Starlyn Loffredo, a freshman legal studies major, was at the event. She enjoyed seeing all the dogs on campus and the different activities she could do at Autumn Fest.

“It’s a good community atmosphere,” Loffredo said of the event.

Many campus organizations had tables set up around the quad where people could do crafts or learn more about their causes. There was pumpkin painting, frisbee painting, and small plaque making.

Families could make Homecoming even more memorable by getting their pictures taken. A giant chair sat on the edge of the event where professional photographs could be taken. The pictures were printed with a frame that said “Homecoming 2018.”

A small stage was set up right in front of the doors to the Recreation Center, and people sat all around it listening to the music and enjoying the food.

Students were able to catch up with their family and friends and seemed to enjoy the day and overall atmosphere.


Magician (Nate Staniforth)

Games gave way to magic on the following night. Nate Staniforth, star of the Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic, came to perform some of his famous tricks on Oct. 20. For his first trick, Staniforth swallowed a piece of thread, followed by some sewing needles, and then proceeded to pull the thread out with the needles hanging from it. 

Next, he began by saying he had an object in his hand that he couldn’t show, and asked a woman named Maxine to come up so he could give it to her. He then asked a man named Jeff to borrow a dollar to use for the trick, getting it initialed by two others and having the audience memorize the serial number. Proceeding to tear off a corner, he lit the rest on fire, and drank the ashes. Finally, he miraculously revealed that the object he gave Maxine was the same dollar. 

For his third trick, Staniforth asked two people, named Allie and Jason, to give him their email addresses so he could send them something. Next, he asked a man named Jasper to come up, showing him a hotel phone book. Jasper was asked to pick a number from a random white page, which Staniforth wrote down on a giant piece of paper. He then revealed the number (part of which was the serial number on Jeff’s dollar), as well as the file he sent Allie, which was audio of him randomly picking the same number. 

The fourth trick involved asking a woman named Kayla to come up, and giving her two magazines. After having her pick a long word from inside one magazine, he asked her to first imagine the word floating by, and then herself saying the world. He then wrote the exact word on the paper, which was revealed to be “sportsmanship.”

It was then time for his final trick. Staniforth asked everyone in the audience to take the notecard left on their seats, tear it in half, and write the name of someone they knew on it, and fold the half twice. After collecting the pieces in a paper bag, he asked a girl named Julia to come up, dump the contents of the bag on the floor, and pick a piece at random. Staniforth then asked random people to stand up, having them shout the initial of the name they chose. After having all but one sit back down, he asked the remaining person to imagine their chosen person introducing themselves. Staniforth said the name himself, and got it right.

Attendees appeared to be having a good time throughout all three events. At the magic show, most of the audience seemed to not be extremely impressed with Staniforth’s first trick, but grew to be amazed more and more by his performance as the show progressed. With these events, this year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend appears to have been a success.