Mizzou celebrates first homecoming since beginning of pandemic – ABC17News.com

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Homecoming returned to the university that invented the tradition for the first time Saturday since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Missouri students and alumni gathered in masses for the parade, tailgates and other traditional celebrations they missed out on last year. Celebrations went mostly virtual in 2020 because gatherings with more than 10 people were not allowed at the school.

Maya Moreau, a senior at Mizzou, told ABC 17 this is her first real homecoming. Moreau said she didn’t participate freshman year and got sick from the cold her sophomore year, so she’s been looking forward to a proper celebration for a long time.

“I didn’t go to homecoming my freshman year because I didn’t really know what it was, I’m an international student so I wasn’t really familiar with the topic,” Moreau said. “So, this is kind of like my first real homecoming and it’s very exciting to be back in person.”

Moreau and her friends said they don’t remember anything happening last year, but they were glad the school made the decision to cancel since that’s what seemed best for everyone’s safety.

“Yea, it kind of just seems like nothing ended up happening,” Moreau said. “All we knew last year is that the parade didn’t happen so we weren’t in it.”

Todd McCubbin, executive director of Mizzou’s Alumni Association, told ABC 17 the university is not enforcing any COVID precautions during homecoming celebrations. Although social distancing is encouraged, masks are not required at optional school events, according to the university’s current guidelines.

“We of course obviously encourage folks to social distance as they’re comfortable, but we know tigers understand how to be safe,” MCubbin said.

Moreau said she thinks the university’s response to COVID has been adequate, although she’d like to see more clarity on mask guidelines and vaccination rates among students.

“I’m glad that homecoming is a lot of outdoor gatherings and not indoor ones because I think if it was indoor ones it would look different for me,” Moreau said. “I probably wouldn’t go.”

Check back for updates to this story and watch ABC 17 News after the game.

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