Morgan Students band together to celebrate 153rd homecoming

Last year, administration banned on-campus activities, so a small group of students planned a homecoming week to remember. COVID-19 isn’t stopping them this year.


Wyman Jones

Morgan’s Homecoming Parade has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19.

Aziah Siid, Campus News Editor

One year ago Morgan State’s Homecoming ended with a trashed campus and a disappointed administration. But this year, amid a global pandemic, Christopher Henderson, a senior business administration major, created an off-campus homecoming for the Morgan community.

Coined by Henderson as “The Homecoming That Never Happened,” the weekend of 21-and-older events begins on Thursday, Oct. 15 and will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 18. The events include a skate party, a tailgate party, an outdoor party and a paint party.

In Maryland, social gatherings in public spaces are allowed, but participants are required to closely follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health guidelines. According to guidelines from the CDC, people should wear a mask when interacting with those they don’t live with, stay six feet away from others and watch for symptoms to curb the spread of COVID-19.  

“Only thing the CDC requires is if you do have an event that’s under capacity, just make sure everybody has their mask on and temperature checks,” Henderson said. “At that point, if you do go to my event and you come back with COVID, you entered at a risk.”

On Sep. 27, Henderson informed his over 3,000 Instagram followers that he was creating an alternative homecoming for the Morgan community. Since then, the post has reached approximately 13,000 people, according to Henderson.

The skate party and paint party cost $6 at the door with a Bear Card and $10 without one. Attendees interested in the paint party also purchased a $35 ticket that covers paint materials and alcohol, according to Henderson. 

Unlike tradition, the university’s annual homecoming tailgate will not be hosted on Morgan’s campus. Instead, Henderson will host a tailgate on Pulaski Highway.

Henderson said even though positive coronavirus cases are inevitable, he’s not worried about the safety of his participants because of the strict guidelines in place.

“You’re coming to the event at your own risk,” he said. “We’re doing all our precautions and everything we need to do to make sure we’re good.” 

Multiplatform production major Zarian Richardson, a host for the week’s events, said he’s scared of the coronavirus but believes that this homecoming is going to be one to remember.

“We worked around a pandemic, that’s not regular,” Richardson said. “I’m gonna remember this forever and I hope by the end of next week that everyone else will never forget this.”

Richardson and Henderson also partnered with senior marketing major Derek Gillaspie. Gillaspie said because he played a major role in the university’s homecomings as DJ Jayvibez, it was only right to keep the tradition alive. 

Saturday’s event will include 56 tables, six people per table, according to Gillaspie. The event will also have hand sanitizer available.

Simultaneously, Morgan’s Campus Activity Board (CAB) is hosting its homecoming called “The Homecoming That Never Ends.” It began on Sunday, Oct. 11 and will conclude on Oct. 30.

The events include a scavenger hunt for on-campus residents, a game show via Zoom, a virtual pep rally, Morgan’s Matriculation Convocation and a virtual gala. 

In an email addressed to The MSUSpokesman, Natasha Lewis-Williams, the coordinator of Student Life & Development, said there are no on-campus traditional homecoming activities planned for this year.

“As for now, we are encouraging people to follow the closed campus ordinance that has been placed on the University website,” Williams said in an email.