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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Homecoming 2002: Editor's Note

It could be a postcard -- colorful leaves crunch under foot as green-and-white clad students congregate on the Green. The heat of the giant glowing bonfire warms them, while its light reflects on the centuries-old buildings. The freshman class has united for the sweep, while upperclassmen have gathered around to encourage their display of spirit. Alumni surround the students, watching and reliving their own bonfire memories. These people come from every imaginable background, but they all share one thing -- a love for Dartmouth.

At the same time chaos reigns -- a thousand crazed, drunken bodies swarm around a scorching tower of flame. It spits out ash and burning flecks of wood, adding to the hysteria of the wheeling freshmen. In their attempts to circle the fire, they crash into each other, people are knocked down and trampled on, and sporadically one breaks from the crowd in a mad, moth-like dash at the flame. In the midst of a suicidal dive towards the inferno, officers tackle the aspiring fire-toucher, pinning his arms, and drag off the newly made criminal.

And then there is the football game. While it is not for everyone, being a part of the team or cheering crowd is a whole different aspect of Homecoming. The shouts of cheerleaders flood the stands and field as each team struggles to lead. The cold breeze nips at enthusiastic fans, some jumping and screaming, others huddled for warmth.

We both experienced elements of these scenes during our freshman Homecoming last year. Sarah remembers standing on the edge of the Green, enjoying the beauty of the bonfire. Karla has bonfire recollections of being pulled in two directions simultaneously while lying on the ground and trying to run all at the same time. Sarah can't even remember whether she went to the football game or not, while not only did Karla go, she cheered after every Dartmouth first down.

Our point -- there are many facets to the Homecoming experience. You have to find them for yourselves. Get out there and enjoy it!