While it may have started as an inside joke at a St. George Round Table (SGRT) meeting in 2017, Corncoming — U of T’s corn-themed homecoming event— is once again set to take place on October 11.
Unlike other Ontario universities, such as Western and Queen’s, U of T homecoming is not a significant part of student culture.
University homecomings are a tradition that celebrates the founding of the university through alumni and student events, and often start with a parade, pep rally, and an opening football game.
U of T homecoming lacks many of these elements. For many universities, homecoming isn’t just a football game, but a fun day where the student body can socialize and meet members of the community. However, at U of T, this event focuses on celebrating Varsity athletics rather than unifying students through a campus-wide social event.
The SGRT Corncoming is one step closer to rectifying this missed opportunity for student engagement by providing students with opportunities for involvement in student societies through a day of interactive activities and events.
“[The mystery] adds to the intrigue of the event,” University College Literary & Athletic Society President Danielle Stella told The Varsity.
On October 11, the event will open with a Fall Festival in Sir Daniel Wilson’s quad. According to Stella, the organizers are hoping to attract passersby, since the quad sees high foot traffic in between classes. After several other events, this year’s Corncoming will conclude with a Pub Night at East of Brunswick on Spadina.
Corncoming has been a part of U of T’s meme culture since its inception in 2017, being frequently featured in the “uoft memes for true 🅱lue teens” Facebook page. The large and impassioned online response to the event indicates that there is space for U of T to grow. Students are looking for an opportunity to build a community centred around notions of campus pride.
The event was noticeably missing last year, and Stella noted that the intrigue and longing for the event among students makes her happy.
The purpose of this year’s Corncoming is to promote student engagement, especially in response to the Student Choice Initiative, which gives students the choice to opt out of the non-essential incidental fees that provide student-led organizations with their funding.
Such changes have had an impact on the framework of activities and campus life this year. Stella is hoping that reintroducing student unions from every faculty and college can help students develop informed decisions for the winter term opt-out period.
The event is more than just a matter of joining a club or socializing; it is an opportunity for everyone to find their place in our community.
With more than a thousand clubs, organizations, and societies across three campuses, Corncoming will hopefully bring us one step closer to reigniting student engagement.
Paul Jerard Layug is a first-year Life Sciences student at New College.