Greek Life prepares Homecoming floats
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Homecoming

Greek Life prepares Homecoming floats

Published 9/28/17


Tyler Utt, TNE Writer

 The NSU Homecoming Parade is one of the biggest parades that the city of Tahlequah partakes in. The city has its fair share of parades throughout the year, but the homecoming parade is hard to compare to. No parade is complete without the theme-based parade floats. Every year for homecoming, the Greek organizations organize a friendly competition. The fraternities and sororities compete to see who can build the best floats. From previous years, floats have ranged from small simple designs to huge extravagant pieces. The fraternities and sororities are grouped up in order to build a float based on the theme.

“The homecoming chair coordinates with the other homecoming chairs of our group,” said Josh Gleaves, Sand Springs junior. “We come up with a float design, 

establish budget and estimate materials. We try to plan and divide up the work. After we have all that set, we meet up to start building the float together throughout a period of time. We just try to sketch out blueprints to use as a guide, then collaborate and finalize ideas as we build to get the look we want. We are not carpenters or builders or even designers, so we do the best we can.”

For homecoming this year, Phi Sigma Kappa and Tau Kappa Epsilon are paired with Alpha Omega Pi. Lambda Chi Alpha and Kappa Sigma are paired with Delta Zeta. They start planning right away due to the time it takes to build a float. 

Gleaves said it takes anywhere from 50-80 hours to build the float and roughly a $1000 in materials depending on donations and discounts. The floats are generally built with chicken wire and spray painted newspaper. This technique of float building is called papier-mâchè. The newspaper is fed through the chicken wire on one side, then fed back through and tied off. Last year, Phi Sigma Kappa took a weed eater to the newspaper to shorten it and give it a cleaner look. 

Coordinating between three organizations can be hectic. Everyone has their own desires and goals to achieve from the float. 

“The parade is a great way for 

student organizations to show their school spirit and pride,” said Ryan LaRue, Tau Kappa Epsilon president. “It can be difficult to collaborate across the board when everyone has their own opinions and ideas, but usually everyone wants to just get their float built because there is usually a lot more going on throughout homecoming that Greek Life has to be involved in.”

Keeping a group of three organizations motivated can be hard to do. With many different events that require Greek Life to participate in, tension can run high.

“I have done this many times now,” said Josh Burner, Tahlequah senior. “As long as you keep everyone motivated enough, the float can get done in time. Sometimes we 

motivate them with food and sometimes things can get a little bit heated. But as long as you keep telling them the faster we do it, the sooner we are done, then we finish on time.”

Burner also said the satisfaction of showing off all the hard work in the parade is a huge pay off, and tearing the float down together is also a huge perk. The NSU Homecoming Parade is at 10 a.m., Sept. 30 in downtown Tahlequah. 

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