Homecoming is a huge part of the college experience, but at Oklahoma State it is an even bigger deal.
For “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” the sororities and fraternities at OSU have started pomping. It takes hours every week to get this done, and they are known to pull all nighters to finish.
Sororities are spending a massive amount of time every day to roll tissue paper up and deck floats, while having a lot of fun doing it. For some, like Emily Heidenrich in Gamma Phi Beta, this is its first homecoming and the house is excited to take part in the tradition.
“I heard it’s really fun,” said Heidenrich. “They get a bunch of energy drinks for the sorority and the fraternity and basically just grind it out. I’m excited.”
It takes a lot of energy to stay up for around 24 hours straight, so energy drinks are popular for all night pomp. They will all walk around, take naps, drink coffee and do anything it takes to keep them up to finish.
Despite COVID-19 everyone is together creating their floats this year, and many are excited to be back. Even with masks, students say it has not changed a bit.
Seniors like Rachel Slater from Alpha Chi Omega are happy to get into the swing of things and compete against the other Greek life students. Fortunately for Slater, her sorority teamed up with Alpha Gamma Rho, which has a history of winning the float competition.
“We’re super excited,” said Slater, “I went to homecoming growing up and to actually be a part of it is pretty cool.”
Not everyone is lucky enough to be paired with the usual winners. Hanna Smith and Briley Williams are sophomores from Zeta Tau Alpha and this is their first homecoming because of COVID-19 regulations last year which postponed the event. After missing out on their first year of pomping, they are feeling more competitive.
“At the end of the day you do want to win because you’re putting so much time and effort into it,” said Smith.
It is a race to have the best house dec, even though it is slow going. It takes hours to pomp a small section of chicken wire, but fortunately, they have music and friends to keep them company while they get house decs ready.
In the end, they are all happy to be meeting new people and making friends.
Oklahoma State is showcasing its centennial celebration this year. For some Greek life members, having fun and showing their dedication to the event is the goal, and all of the sororities and fraternities are armed with tissue paper, stepping up to the challenge.