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OSU Greek life prepares for homecoming

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Finishing Touches

A girl adjusts a few pieces on a pomp roll to complete a section of the Pi Kappa Alpha house dec in preparation for OSU's 2017 Homecoming. 

“America’s Greatest Homecoming” is a time for alumni and families to come celebrate the traditions of Oklahoma State University.

From residential halls to Greek life, many organizations are involved in preparing for homecoming events.

Homecoming is only six weeks away, so the Greek organizations are preparing their signature house decorations. The decs are made of chicken wire, glue and tissue paper.

The pomping tradition began when sororities started decorating their doors. It soon spread to the residential halls and eventually to the rest of the Greek houses by 1950.

The decs placed around Greek Row are carefully made through pomping. Each student is assigned a specific number of hours to pomp every two weeks.

Each house or residential hall creates a theme for its dec.

Sydney Carver, a junior philosophy and pre-law major, said one part of the homecoming process is her favorite. 

“I love the design phase,” Carver, a homecoming director, said. “Taking some random idea like 'Cowboys ride on' and making it into a specific dec that truly tells a story is so unique.”

Pomping officially started for all students Sept. 4. It continues until Oct. 26, the day of Walkaround. During Walkaround, members of the OSU and Stillwater community can see all the decs students designed.

Houses broke ground for their decs Sept. 6. Members of the houses gathered to watch the event because it’s a big milestone in the pomping process. Students can put up the screens of chicken wire once ground is broken on the decs.

Safety measures are taken with all decs. Steering and Big Committees check each screen to make sure it passes the safety code.

MacKenzie Lawson, a former Big Committee member for Promotional Design, said she loved the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look.

“Homecoming is such a big event that brings all Cowboys together,” Lawson said. “Being able to see it on both sides is definitely the most fascinating part.”

The pomping rooms in each fraternity house are open every day from 8 a.m. to midnight except on game days. Students can go in any time of the day to get their assigned hours. There is at least one person present at all times in the pomping room.

To make pomping more enjoyable and lighten the mood, houses plan parties centered on the activity. These parties usually have themes, and those who participate in a party earn two hours toward their pomping time.

Mady Hendryx, a sophomore music major and member of Phi Mu sorority, said time management is key during the process.

“It’s kind of hard since you have to budget your time already with extracurricular activities and school,” Hendryx said. “With pomping and the required hours, you have to set aside more time."

Numerous hours are devoted to pomping to complete the decs, especially during All-Night Pomp.

All-Night Pomp, the Thursday before Walkaround, is when pomping rooms are open 24/7 for students to get the screens finished and placed on the decs. Students are required to sign up for seven-hour shifts.

Pomping might not sound like the most pleasant time to everyone, but Hendryx said the fulfilling feeling of having a dec on display for thousands of people to see is what makes it worthwhile.

“At the end of the day, pomping goes toward a great piece of art that will be displayed at homecoming,” Hendryx said. “You realize that it’s not about us at that point, it’s about the thousands of people who come to celebrate such an amazing tradition.”

news.ed@ocolly.com