CALS students prepare for week-long Homecoming festivities

Group of students on the Homecoming Central Committee, standing on the steps of the ISU Alumni Center
Members of this year's Homecoming Central Committee, which includes several College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students, have spent the past year planning for this year's Homecoming events. The 2022 Iowa State Homecoming celebration, themed “Cy Me To The Moon," will take place Oct. 30 - Nov. 5.

By Riley Hiscocks

Campaniling, fireworks, Yell Like Hell and even bacon are a few of the exciting things to look forward to during Iowa State University’s 2022 Homecoming celebration Oct. 30-Nov. 5. 

A year’s worth of planning goes into making Homecoming week a success, and several College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students have had a part in the process.

Beginning in November of 2021, the 35 members of the Homecoming Central committees and 27 CySquad members began planning for the week-long celebration, themed “Cy Me To The Moon.” Among the two committees, 15 CALS students are on the Homecoming Central committees and 13 CALS students are on CySquad.

Ian Johnson, junior in animal science, is serving as co-director for this year’s Homecoming Central Committee. 

“Last year, I was involved with homecoming as a member of the logistics committee. In that role, the committee and I handled the contracts for homecoming, which included the stages for the pep rally and for central campus, Campaniling fireworks, road closures for homecoming events, and the rest of the behind-the-scenes details to ensure each committee's events ran efficiently and smoothly,” Johnson said.

The decision to apply for the co-director position for Homecoming 2022 was an easy choice to make for Johnson. “I decided to run for co-director to bolster Iowa State’s greatest week of events by upholding tradition and sparking innovation in the upcoming homecoming events.”

Brainstorming, conducting meetings and decision making are all duties Johnson has taken on in his role. 

“As co-director, I act as a point of contact and connection between the ISU Alumni Association and the Homecoming Central Committee members to ensure that both parties are on the same page and working toward the same goals,” Johnson said. “I find it enjoyable to work with our committee members and to see the goals and ideas they have for their specific committees. Everyone has different ideas and passions, and I believe homecoming is one of the greatest ways to see collaboration among students of different backgrounds.”

Expanding on tradition while making new traditions for everyone to enjoy is Johnson’s motivation for the upcoming homecoming week. 

“With a brand new Homecoming Kickoff event replacing the parade, pomping displays, a canned food drive, and a much-expanded Thursday night ‘ExCYtment in the Streets,’ we hope all students and surrounding community members will get involved,” Johnson said. “My co-director, Lauren Snyder, and I agree that our main goal is to have all students included in homecoming as this is a celebration of Iowa State University.” 

The Campus Involvement committee is led by Abby Feldpausch, junior in agricultural and life sciences education, and Sophie Adams, senior in agricultural and life sciences education. Their responsibilities include overseeing Painting Victory Lane, Residence Hall and Office Decorating, and the creation of the homecoming banner. 

“Each of our events aim to highlight the outstanding students we have here at Iowa State,” Feldpausch said.

That includes CyFactor, a campus-wide talent show open to all Iowa State students. Auditions took place Oct. 26, and the winning act will perform at the Homecoming Pep Rally on Friday, Nov. 4, outside the ISU Alumni Association. 

Another tradition associated with Homecoming week is Food on Campus. This year, Jenna VanderHeiden, senior in agricultural business, and Leah Marek, junior in global resource systems, are in charge of lining up enough food to feed roughly 1,800 people each day on campus. This year’s food lineup includes: 

  • Monday - HyVee mac and cheese
  • Tuesday - pork chop on a stick, provided and grilled by the Story County Pork Producers
  • Wednesday -  Papa John’s pizza
  • Thursday - Chick-Fil-A
  • Friday - donuts and coffee

To take part in Food on Campus, faculty, staff and students will be able to purchase Food on Campus buttons.

“Food on Campus buttons are an excellent deal - $5 for five meals. Buttons can be purchased at places around campus leading up to homecoming week or at the Food on Campus tent during homecoming week,” VanderHeiden said. 

For students wanting to be involved in the homecoming sports tournaments, Gold Tournaments is the perfect opportunity. Tori Hlas, junior in agricultural studies, is a co-chair for this year’s Gold Tournaments committee. 

“This year, there will be a three-point contest, bags and dodgeball tournament. Tournament champions will receive a T-shirt and gift card. Students entered in multiple sports during the tournament will be entered in a new drawing this year, Cyclone Athlete Award, with the winner receiving a gift certificate to a local restaurant,” Hlas said. “I am most excited for the Cardinal and Gold Tournaments championship night. The energy in Lied Rec Center will be a sight for all to see.” 

To learn more and register for events, visit the Iowa State Homecoming (@isuhomecoming) Instagram or Facebook page. Homecoming information can also be found on the ISU Alumni Association's website.

CALS students on 2022 Homecoming Central committees

  • Co-director: Ian Johnson (animal science)
  • Alumni Relations: Riley Hiscocks (animal science)
  • Campus Involvement: Abby Feldpausch (agricultural and life sciences education), Sophie Adams (agricultural and life sciences education)
  • CySquad Coordinator: Mykenzie Darg (agricultural and life sciences education)
  • Community Service: Brett Baccam (forestry)
  • Displays: Jacob Bockman (agricultural studies)
  • Food on Campus: Jenna VanderHeiden (agricultural business), Leak Marek (global resource systems)
  • Gold Tournaments: Tori Hlas (agricultural studies)
  • Logistics: Dawson Brader (agricultural studies), Charley Zylstra (agricultural studies), Taylor Lekin (agricultural and rural policy studies)
  • Special Events: Bradleigh Schaefer (agricultural and life sciences education)
  • Yell Like Hell: Will Lapke (agricultural studies)