Opportunity for community, tradition lost


The theme for this year’s homecoming is “Land of the Free, Home of the Bruins.” Posters in the Main Commons display each day’s theme.

Brayden Parker

Not a single door deck was to be found in the school this year. In the past, it has been tradition for Senior Mentors to aid the students in their advisory to create elaborate decorations for their classroom doors that coincide with that year's Homecoming theme.
Not a single door deck was to be found in the school this year. In the past, it has been tradition for Senior Mentors to aid the students in their advisory to create elaborate decorations for their classroom doors that coincide with that year’s Homecoming theme. Photo by Morgan Berk

Tomorrow night as the University of Missouri Tigers football team prepares to take on No. 21 South Carolina in the 102nd Homecoming Game, students, alumni, and members of the community alike will stroll around Greektown observing and taking part in the long-standing tradition of House Decs. With an atmosphere of excitement mixed with the cool weather forecasted, the night will be an opportunity to enjoy our city, its school and its original homecoming traditions.

The illustrious decorations, the sounds of music blaring and the laughs produced from the silly, yet entertaining skits provide the chance for all of the community to enjoy Mizzou’s Homecoming Week. The current students have their events during the week with numerous club activities. Alumni are entertained with luncheons and banquets too plentiful to count.

But aside from the standard football game, which only the 67,124 people fortunate enough to have $75 to obtain a ticket may attend, there isn’t quite a homecoming activity that encompasses the people of Columbia as a whole.

Yet, whether you attend Mizzou, are a legitimate “true son,” are entirely too young to be a part of the Mizzou community, or possibly even the prodigal son from across the border, House Decs is the time to head into the depths of campus and appreciate the entirety of all the personalities that are incorporated into all that is Mizzou.
I think all too often Greek Row is ornamented with the accusations of being seclusive. Commonly, the students that live in those homes are supposedly only into getting drunk, partying, and only care about having a good time. Also, inversely I believe that the current student body at Mizzou appreciates being their own group. Sure, Columbia is a solid town to be a part of but the college mentality is that as adults now we can do our own thing on our own. Unfortunately at times the general population of Columbia and the 33,000 that attend Mizzou are separated and selfishly sometimes would prefer to be that away.
However, when the two groups come together, it seems to be that cliche as it is, memories are made. Who can forget the 2011 homecoming weekend for Mizzou? Sure the underdog Tigers knocked off then No. 1 Oklahoma in a rivalry showdown but my greatest memory will be ESPN’s College Gameday overtaking Francis Quadrangle and the record setting 18,000 student, alumni and fans that together celebrated homecoming and together celebrated Mizzou.
I also remember 2007, my first year in Columbia, when the Tigers took on Kansas State in the freezing cold and the pouring rain. That day I learned the definition of “bone-numbing cold” but I also  witnessed a community being excited for their school, as the nearly 68,000 sat through a sloppy performance by the Black and Gold just to support the tradition and observe the crowning of a new court.
I’m sure that on top of these recent memories there has to be thousands of others in the 102 years that people will reminisce about in years to come.
House Decs is another one of these opportunities and I am thankful that this tradition continues in Columbia for not only me to enjoy but for the city to enjoy as well.
Rock Bridge was genius to pick up this tradition in the form of Door Decs. To have the sophomores incorporated in the festivities of Homecoming week was an absolute incredible idea. You have these underclassmen, who, honestly, a majority of the school ignores and would rather not be associated with, that are able to have their own homecoming tradition by exerting themselves and creating a memorable decoration, or if anything a memorable time.
It would be one thing if Door Decs was an activity just for sophomores, but the fact that juniors and seniors involved themselves was what truly made it a worthwhile activity. Upperclassmen walking around, observing the decorations, enjoying the skits, laughing with sophomores, asking questions: it was an opportunity for all three classes to enjoy Homecoming together. It wasn’t just seniors taking part in court activities or sophomores sitting in advisory thinking about their first dance. Door Decs the whole school together. Administrators, teachers, upperclassmen, underclassmen. It was everybody.
Above all it was about the memories. I will not remember what our homecoming theme was when I was a sophomore. And I wont remember which Door Dec won when I was a junior. However, I will remember the struggle of thinking of an idea, the people I worked with, and the upperclassmen that walked by, admired the work and integrated silly little sophomores in homecoming traditions.
This year, homecoming at RBHS has at the surface remained unadulterated. However with the inclusion of freshman, the inception of Bruin Block, and the implementation of “Like Day” Schedules, the student body has been stripped of the opportunity to enjoy Door Decs. This might sound juvenile and like a senior wanting to relive previous years in high school but I honestly think that RB has missed out on a pivotal chance to create a community that the administration has longed for between upper and under classmen.
While I am entirely upset that there were no Door Decs to explore and enhance the Homecoming week at RB I am more confused as to why they do not exist. I can understand that administration wants to use the Advisory period as an academic study hall. That’s fine. But now we have this brilliant idea of Bruin Block that isn’t honestly being utilized in any sense of the word.

Why take away Door Decs and replace with a fashion show that has been under-attended and avoided by upperclassmen? It seems to me that the Bruin Block’s have been shunned to a corner observed only by the nine queen candidates who are fulfilling their duties by being there.

I don’t know what history there is behind a fashion show but it is lacking in all areas of what Door Decs purposes was.

It is my hope that those in charge of Advisory, Bruin Block and homecoming activities will realize the benefits of Door Decs. Not only the enhancement that it brought to the week in full but more importantly the community that it supplemented. If we as a school are attempting to create a place where a broad range of ages and an even broader range of personalities are effectively  functioning then we can not pass up on these opportunities to bring together this school. Door Decs had accomplished this for RBHS for years just as House Decs has brought together our community on campus to honor Mizzou’s past traditions. And in a week that is to celebrate both our history and our future I find it necessary to be united in the present.
By Brayden Parker