Students at the University of Toronto can look forward to a uniquely themed homecoming come October 5. According to Albert Hoang, Chair of the St. George Round Table Homecoming Planning Committee, the theme for this year’s homecoming will be ‘corn,’ an idea that began as an inside joke and quickly took on a life of its own.
“What happened was in one of the homecoming meetings, we were talking about food options and people said, ‘Oh barbecue’ and stuff and I was just sitting there and I was thinking, ‘Oh a corn bar would be kind of cool.’ Like corn on the cob, creamed corn, popcorn, candy corn, etc,” Hoang told The Varsity. “And someone was like, ‘Oh what if we did CornComing?’ and it was meant as a joke. But they all started taking me seriously.”
This year’s homecoming planning fell under the purview of the St. George Round Table (SGRT), a body made up of representatives from divisional societies like the U of T Engineering Society (EngSoc), the University College Literary & Athletic Society (UC Lit), Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council (VUSAC), and Kinesiology and Physical Education Undergraduate Association (KPEUA), to name a few.
Stuart Norton, Vice-President Campus Life of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), told The Varsity that homecoming planning was originally in the UTSU orientation portfolio.
“For a number of years, the UTSU would organize something, and then they’d tell the colleges or SGRT members. A few years ago… there were actually two separate homecomings being planned, one by the UTSU and one by the SGRT due to political tensions, etc.” said Norton.
An effort to unify homecoming planning took place and, according to Norton, the UTSU stepped down from spearheading the planning and the SGRT took over with Hoang as Chair. Norton said that the UTSU is still participating in the orientation planning.
“I would like to go on the record saying that I joined the project after the corn was heavily involved,” Norton added.
Compared to the homecoming festivities of other Ontario universities such as Queen’s, Western, and Laurier, to name a few, U of T’s homecoming often does not receive the same kind of celebration from students.
When asked about the permanency of CornComing, Hoang said that while corn does not need to be a continual theme, there is “a large possibility” that U of T’s homecoming will continue to be its “own thing” and won’t try to replicate the homecoming experiences of other universities.
Students can expect an “autumn fair” atmosphere, according to Hoang, including pumpkin carving, a photo booth, carnival activities, and, of course, corn.
“I don’t wanna reveal too much, but the theme has really been integrated into the sort of programming that they’ll use, and culinary journeys that will be taken,” said Norton.