CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA)– Homecoming is coming up at Eastern Illinois University, but this year’s plan is causing some controversy. “The biggest concern I have regarding Homecoming is of the slogan,” said Eastern Illinois University student Jerimiah Boyd-Johnson. “Party Like It’s 1895” is the theme of this year’s virtual homecoming week at Eastern Illinois University. The school says it’s a reference to the year in which EIU was founded, but others find it controversial.
Boyd-Johnson says he understands the school was founded in 1895 but wishes they picked something else. “This theme is problematic because it goes back to a time when America was not inclusive. It was not inclusive for minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities. It does not add us into that equation,” said Boyd-Johnson.
EIU sent a statement about the theme “Party Like it’s 1895.” It says “Its use in EIU’s Homecoming Week events is intended to commemorate that historical occasion. The theme was selected for use last spring following a period of public input and a variety of EIU stakeholder contributions, including those from a diversified student steering committee.” EIU’s Homecoming is September 28th through October 3rd.