The yearly outbreak of homecoming on the Grand Valley campus is as common as the cold & flu season. In preparation for this year’s outbreak, the GVSU Campus Health Center has unveiled a comprehensive plan to ensure that the effects of this year’s attack will not be as severe. “We’ve followed homecoming’s pattern over the last few years, and though the outbreaks have grown more intense with each passing year, our growing understanding of the disease has allowed us to create a plan to reduce the number of victims we’ll see this year,” said Dr. Joshua Ehrlich of the GVSU Campus Health Center.
The outbreak generally lasts about seven days, and affects almost everyone on campus. Common symptoms of a homecoming outbreak on the GV campus include widespread wearing of the colors blue and white, mass migration of Grand Valley alumni to the campus, and increased marching band activity. Even students who are immune to homecoming’s effects still find themselves frustrated and annoyed by the heavy increases in traffic and school spirit.
Ehrlich explained that the disease is only temporary. He went on to mention that the Campus Health Center prepared its multi-step process by examining which of homecoming’s effects are the most devastating when an outbreak hits. Ehrlich informed our reporters that the health center “looked for where the highest number of people were gathered during previous homecoming outbreaks, and concluded that the sports arenas at GVSU are very high-risk.”
As Laker athletes know, one of homecoming’s most bizarre effects is the hijacking of the brains of athletes on campus, leading them to campus arenas and causing them to partake in intense sports battles with one another. Sometimes even dance battles.
“There’s no way to prevent the athletes from wandering to the stadiums when the disease hits,” said Ehrlich, “Because you can’t just force all athletes to lock themselves in their rooms for a week. They have to eat and things like that. And once a sports battle starts, there’s no way to control the crowd that gathers to watch it.” The Health Center will not attempt to physically control the gathered crowds, as a person under the effects of homecoming will generally attack you if you attempt to interfere with them.
However, the Health Center will send representatives to distribute rubber gloves and face masks to game attendees to prevent further spreading of homecoming and educate the public on its effects. The representatives will also distribute t-shirts, because, as Ehrlich explains, “the human mind, regardless of homecoming or not, is powerless against the prospect of a free t-shirt.”
In addition to the sports events, the Health Center will do its best to combat the many other effects the coming homecoming outbreak will entail. “We’re building tents to isolate the returning alumni during the outbreak period to ensure that the disease doesn’t spread, as well as to offer them a place to discuss how college students were much better back in their day,” said Marissa Donald, nurse practitioner. “As for the students involved in marching band activity? It’s too late for them,” she continued, “I mean, we can try and vaccinate, but at this point, these students are basically perpetually ill.”
Vaccines will be offered for students beginning to dress in blue and white as well as those worried about contracting homecoming. While the Health Center can’t do anything about traffic, they “want to be prepared for anything,” said Ehrlich, “even lip-syncing competitions, should worse come to worst.”