It’s homecoming week at Southern Oregon University, and the events and activities go way beyond football. There are parades – two of them – along with volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer games, and an all-comers 5K run and walk. For the nostalgic, there’s even dodgeball.
“This is a week that’s intended to bring us together as a university, in our celebration of school spirit and pride in the values we embrace,” President Linda Schott said this week in a message to campus.
She encouraged all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to participate in homecoming activities, which begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the SOU volleyball team takes on Oregon Institute of Technology at the new Lithia Motors Pavilion. Intramural dodgeball will follow next-door in the new Student Recreation Center at 8:30 p.m.
The annual Homecoming Parade is Thursday’s highlight event, and the university has invited all alumni and community members to wear red and take part, either as spectators or by walking in the parade. Parade assembly will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Lithia Park bandshell, and participants will wind through downtown and along Siskiyou Boulevard to Raider Stadium. A Raider Rally and Fair will begin at the stadium at 5 p.m., featuring family-friendly events such as a hot dog feed, bubble soccer and other games.
The President’s 5K run and walk, a benefit event for the SOU Food Pantry, will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at Raider Stadium. Those who wish to participate should bring a completed entry form and one or more nonperishable food items that will be given to students in need. There will be a hospitality area for finishers and those who attend men’s and women’s soccer matches, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., against Northwest University of Washington.
The annual Rogue Valley Pride Celebration coincides this year with SOU Homecoming. SOU has a strong tradition of participation in the colorful celebration of inclusion, and members of the campus community have been encouraged to take part in the Pride Parade through downtown Ashland prior to SOU’s Homecoming football game. The Raiders – currently ranked No. 7 nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – will take on in-state rival Eastern Oregon University.
Homecoming week will wrap up with men’s and women’s soccer matches against Washington’s Evergreen State College at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by a homecoming dance at the Student Recreation Center.