The good, the bad and the ugly

Tarleton student workers express the ups and downs of homecoming week


Alina Rangel / JTAC News

A plowboy standing in front of the L.V. Risinger bonfire.

Tarleton State University is known for its homecoming traditions. From Lighting of the Smokestack to L.V. Risinger Bonfire, there’s not many other schools that can say they do some of the things Tarleton does. 

Even though homecoming is very popular with the students on campus, the freshmen who have never experienced it before are in for a Tarleton Texan experience. Many Texans have expressed that they love homecoming, but for the newcomers on the campus, it could possibly be overwhelming. 

“My favorite event was the Launching of the Ducks. It was my favorite because it was a good way for me to set goals for the upcoming school year and it was a way for us to all be connected through our goals and achievements. When we went back to find our ducks, a lot of people had the same goals. So, it was nice to know that I had a community that all wanted to achieve and do better in life,” Ag-Communications major, Kyndal King stated.

Students favor different traditions for different reasons. Each tradition not only highlights the spirit of tarleton but it also brings the student body together in a way that encourages new friendships and camaraderie.  

“The bonfire was my favorite. It was cool to see the biggest bonfire in the state and it was really cool that our school is the school that puts it on. It’s really fun to go to your friends and be able to brag about the fact that your campus holds the record for that. Another thing is how it brings everyone together. People who didn’t take part in other homecoming events made sure to come to the bonfire. It’s really just an awesome experience,” Pre-Vet major, Leah Lopez stated.

Although the traditions are adored by many, there are also a few downsides to hosting such a busy week of student activities. 


“I didn’t like Purple Pancakes because we already had the Launching of the Ducks that day and I was super tired. I did like it because I got to wear pajamas, that was fun, but Purple Pancakes was a little confusing. It was kind of late and I wish there were more activities for us to do. The line was super long and my feet were hurting just for not even a full sized pancake,” King replied. 

In the midst of all of the activities, a number of freshmen felt lost and confused about what each event meant to the school.

“My least favorite was the launching of the ducks. I feel like all the other events had more to it, but after waiting in line, it didn’t really feel worth it. Once we started moving, it went faster, but no one explained what exactly we were doing. I was super confused and didn’t even know we were going to throw them in the nursing pond. I just thought we were going to take a picture. I feel like they forget that some of us are freshmen and don’t know what some of the events are, they just rush through them and expect everyone to know what they’re doing,” Lopez stated.

For students that work closely to help make homecoming successful, it can be deemed one of the most stressful weeks in October. With juggling classes and all of the homecoming activities, student workers can feel very overwhelmed once the whirlwind that is homecoming has passed.  

“Homecoming was a little more than I expected. Everyone was saying ‘Oh, you’re gonna be so tired. It’s such a tiring week,’ and on Sunday and Monday I was like ‘Oh, It’s not tiring at all’ and now it’s the Sunday after and I can’t function because I’m so tired. But, it was a lot of fun and a lot of different events to keep you busy this week,” stated King.

Even though students have expressed their love for homecoming, they are also excited for it to be over.

“It was what I expected. I knew it was gonna be a long week, some days were longer than others. But, it was fun and I had a good time with friends. Overall, I’m just glad it’s over,” replied Lopez.