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SOSU homecoming festivities fall victim to virus

SOSU COMMUNICATIONS
Crowds gather to celebrate Southeastern Oklahoma State University's 2019 homecoming football game. The university announced Sept. 17 that it has canceled this year's homecoming festivities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

DURANT – As with numerous other events that had been slated for this fall, homecoming festivities at Southeastern Oklahoma State University have been canceled in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

University officials announced the decision Sept. 17, citing safety concerns associated with COVID-19 as the reason for the cancellation.

Homecoming activities had been scheduled for Oct. 23-24.

“This was a very difficult decision, but the health and safety of our campus community, alumni and visitors was the top priority,’’ Southeastern President Thomas Newsom explained in a press release.

“Representatives from the university, the Alumni Association and the Student Government Association are exploring other ways to engage alumni, students and the university community.’’

Alumni Association President Andrea Rogers Mersiovsky said in statement that the group “supports the efforts and decisions made by the leadership of the university regarding Homecoming 2020.”

Although in-person celebrations are not currently possible, Mersiovsky urged SOSU alums “to take the time to reach out to your classmates, former faculty/staff, Greek sisters/brothers” and others in an effort to reconnect.

Anna Antuono, Student Government Association president, echoed those sentiments in a statement.

“The Student Government Association agrees that the health and safety of our students is paramount and feels this is a necessary adjustment,” he said, adding that the organization is working with the university and alumni association “to create opportunities for students to network with our alumni, share memories from past and present and connect with our campus community.”

Additional updates, including the scheduling of events and activities, will be provided by the university’s Alumni Office when they become available.