MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Tent City will pack up Friday at noon in Morgantown, marking the end to a new and growing tradition for West Virginia University’s Homecoming Week.
“It’s a new tradition that happened the year before I came here,” junior James Osborn said. “I feel like it gets everyone tighter too. You meet more people with everyone setting up around you. Other than that, it’s just a great experience.”
The environment often shuffles back and forth between serene and peaceful as students alternate between class, sleeping, and minding their tents. Occasionally though, Osborne said the congregation of students start showing off their school spirit.
“Crazy,” Osborn said, describing the scene. “Friendly during the day, but at night it’s a pretty fun time.”
Osborn said it’s a good time, but with the expectation of being alcohol-free. He said police have needed to make an occasional appearance, but that it’s overall been a good experience.
“Mostly near the basketball courts, that’s where most of the stuff happens,” he said. “Over here, it’s kind of calm and relaxed. [Wednesday] night, the police had to come in and take care of some things. Other than that, it’s been pretty mellow.”
Osborn, who was dressed in a blazer while camping as part of pledging a fraternity, said this week is all about the alumni.
“We actually have a couple of alumni coming up this Friday, so we’re actually going to be doing stuff with them,” he said. “Then they are going to be at our tailgates. So it’ll be a good time.”
This year’s Tent City will be used as a way to raise money for hurricane-affected areas. In years past, Tent City has helped raise money for Empty Bowls Monongalia, a local charity that focuses on food insecurity in Monongalia County.
In honor of Homecoming Week, Grammy and Emmy award winning composer Jay Chattaway returns to Morgantown for the first time since he graduated in 1968 to conduct the WVU Marching Band in its performance of his original work — Jubilee 150 — which honors the University’s 150th birthday.
The Homecoming Parade begins in downtown Morgantown at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
WVU faces Texas Tech Saturday at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium.