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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 12, 2008) – Acting on concerns from Warrensburg city and Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center officials about a conflict with Halloween, UCM approved a request to move its 2009 Homecoming celebration from Oct. 31 to Oct. 10.
Family Weekend and Discover Central Day Also Rescheduled
As a result of this move, UCM Family Weekend will also be rescheduled for Sept. 19 and Discover Central Day will move to Oct. 3.
Community and UCM Discuss Date Change
Dates for Homecoming football games and celebrations are typically selected three years in advance by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and submitted to the President’s Cabinet for approval. This year’s request to make a move came after recent discussions with city officials, local business representatives and law enforcement officials.
“We’re interested in cooperating with the city and law enforcement agencies in order to make Homecoming a wonderful experience for our students, alumni and the entire community,” said UCM President Aaron Podolefsky. “After listening to the concerns, we decided to support the request, even though it does have some consequences for the university.”
International Alumni Reunion Also Planned
Specifically, the university has been publicizing its first-ever International Alumni Reunion in conjunction with the original Homecoming date of Oct. 31. The university will take steps to communicate the date change to its many international alumni.
Two Significant Community Events
Warrensburg City Manager Jeff Hancock cited business and safety reasons for the change request. Both Halloween and Homecoming are significant events for the local business community. Local merchants and members of the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center supported the date change request because of the positive effect separate events have on sales, according to Tammy Long, executive director of the chamber.
Public Safety A Key Factor
A final consideration was public safety as both Homecoming and Halloween typically draw large crowds. Warrensburg Police Chief Bruce Howey expressed concern over having adequate resources to simultaneously handle large downtown Homecoming crowds while also covering the large number of calls throughout the community that a typical Halloween brings.
“The bottom line is that we want to have fun, safe events for the university and the Warrensburg community,” Hancock said. “By working together, the city, chamber and university were able to create a workable solution for everyone in this process. We appreciate the university administration’s efforts to accommodate our request.”