As the beats of today’s most recognizable hit songs reverberated throughout Long Beach State’s 2018 Homecoming Saturday, 1969 graduate, Alyce LaViolette reminisced about a different era.
She’s attended more of these events than she can count and recalls when Homecoming would transform the parking lot into an old western town with sawdust covering the ground at what they deemed 49er Days. She remembers when Homecoming had a winter formal dance and being crowned king and queen was an important rite of passage.
“I love this school and I’m very involved with the campus,” said LaViolette, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at LBSU. She’s a board member for the Alumni Association, taught classes here and spoke at a recent TEDx talk. “I like this but it doesn’t seem as … well the community used to really come out.”
The annual event had its usual giveaways and student run booths, but this year Beach Pride Events in collaboration with CSULB Alumni Association, added carnival games. An alien attack crawl, a giant inflatable walking ball and complementary “LB” airbrush tattoos had students busy throughout the day.
“Our goal is to make our current undergrads proud to come to this campus,” said Jonathan Ibarra, lead program assistant for Beach Pride Events. “This event just screams Beach pride.”
Four students could be seen walking through the lot with gold sashes that read “Beach Royalty.”
“[Beach Royalty] is a chance to express my experience at Long Beach,” said Veronica Ortega, a senior political science and Chicano studies major. “The Beach has become my home away from home.”
Although the voting process isn’t as much of a contest as it once was, a king and queen was decided on and announced at the men’s basketball game Saturday evening.
“I hope to win but if someone else does, ‘you go, you rock that crown,” Ortiz said.
Also present at the homecoming celebration was Beach 2030, the initiative that aims to gather input from the community and the campus on what LBSU’s future should look like.
“I want to continue to see the kind of diversity that we have now,” LaViolette said. “I would also like to see more controversial speakers. Students need to learn how to deal with controversy in a good way.”
Ibarra said he thinks Beach 2030 is a great step toward planning the campus’ future.
“It’s great that we can get our alumni’s input, get our student’s input, get everyone’s input so we can shape a better future for our campus,” Ibarra said
The LBSU men’s basketball team will play Menlo College in the Walter Pyramid at 4 p.m.
Watch our video coverage of the event here:
VIDEO | Adam Pacheco