Forty-six students bear the responsibility of planning and executing the 103 year-long tradition that is the University of Wisconsin Homecoming.
One of those students, UW Homecoming Committee Vice President Ally Cashmore, said the high-spirited energy and the idea of giving back to UW and the community is what drew her to the committee and event. Homecoming is one of the last ways Cashmore, a senior studying economics and European studies, will leave her mark on the university before she graduates in December. Cashmore spoke with The Badger Herald as she and the Homecoming Committee prepare for the weekend’s events.
The following interview was edited for style and clarity.
The Badger Herald: What is your favorite part of Homecoming?
Ally Cashmore: My favorite part of Homecoming is the aspect that the whole campus comes together, 40,000-plus students, in addition to faculty, staff and alumni all congregate at the university. I think that even though we are all very unique as individuals, I think it is really great that the week brings us all together for everyone to celebrate the university together as a whole. It doesn’t exclude anyone.
BH: What does being a Badger mean to you?
AC: Being a Badger means a lot of different things to me. The first is obviously academic excellence, but a large part of it is being a positive influence on society and watching out for your community, giving back to your community, supporting your community and all coming together as one is also part of being a Badger.
BH: What is your favorite homecoming event?
AC: I am most looking forward to the parade. It is our largest event, we have more than 10,000 people come to the event and there is just a lot of energy there. It is a great time to celebrate, to focus on student [organizations] and community members in the area as we get excited for hopefully a Badger football win.
BH: What is an area you think can be improved in terms of Homecoming?
AC: I think one area we can continue to improve on is continuing to connect Badgers from all around the world. I know during Homecoming we focus on Madison in general, but still allowing Badgers from all over the world to participate in some way, whether that is through technology or some other form, and giving everyone the opportunity to connect back to the university during the week, is also important.
BH: What is your favorite UW tradition?
AC: Jump Around at Camp Randall.
BH: If you could have a Babcock Ice Cream flavor named after you, what would it be?
AC: ”Energizing Ally.” It would definitely be dark chocolate ice cream with espresso beans and caramel.
BH: What is one thing you will miss the most after graduating?
AC: The view at the Terrace.
BH: Who is your favorite figure in UW history?
AC: I am a big fan of [Chancellor] Becky Blank.
BH: Do you plan on staying involved in homecoming and Wisconsin Alumni Association after graduation?
AC: Yes, that is the plan.