Groups prep their pomps for Homecoming week

Jessica Ruffin

Large wooden structures stand outside various buildings covered in blue tarps. Feet can be seen scurrying under these covered structures at all hours of the day and night. Inside the buildings, balls of tissue paper litter the floor. This is the preparation leading up to the highly anticipated event at the end of the week – the Homecoming Lawn Decoration Contest.

Various organizations spend the hours every day throughout homecoming week creating an image on a large wooden structure composed of rolled-up balls of tissue paper, famously known as pomps. The structure itself is also known as a pomp. The finished products are revealed on the Friday before the homecoming game.

Cati Hornbuckle, a senior majoring in nutrition, served as one of the Homecoming Chairs for the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority last year. Alpha Omicron Pi won first place in the contest last year under Hornbuckle’s leadership, but she said the task was not easy.

“The few weeks leading to homecoming, I was planning and discussing [plans for the pomp] every night,” Hornbuckle said. “During homecoming week, I only left the house for class; otherwise I was pomping or talking about pomping.”

The pomps are taken down within a few days of the conclusion of homecoming week. Hornbuckle said this can be frustrating for her and the others who worked throughout the week on the projects.

“I just wanted to keep our pomp displayed forever,” Hornbuckle said. “It’s funny because with all the planning and work put towards the pomp, you forget that homecoming is such a short-term thing and that it will be taken down in a split second. You are reminded very quickly.”

However, Hornbuckle said she feels the efforts are definitely worth the short-lived glory that comes from the pomp’s reveal.

“I loved seeing everyone working so hard together and was so proud of our house,” Hornbuckle said.

SGA Homecoming Director of Lawn Decorations, Kayla Glass, a senior majoring in nursing, said she believes the best part about the Lawn Decoration Contest goes beyond the finished pomp.

“The final product is not most important part [of the contest],” Glass said. “It’s the time spent together as a unified group and the memories made,”

For Glass, the unification of an organization is one of the most positive results of the Homecoming Lawn Decoration Contest. She said organizations are able to show support for their school and come together in the process.

“I believe this competition is an important part of homecoming week because it’s one of the few competitions that enables all of its members to participate in a single event, and therefore, is a representation of the organization as a whole,” Glass said. “Students spend countless hours rolling sheets of pomp paper, which allows them to meet fellow members, grow closer as an organization, and have fun in the process.”

Joe Hart, a junior majoring in German and quantitative economics, said although his hands hurt after a while from pomping, the experience as a whole has been very enjoyable.

“It was really fun just being able to hang out with the girls and get to know them so well,” said Hart, a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. “Toward the end I was sleep deprived, but it was so worth it.”