The following article was originally printed in volume 72, issue 15, special section page 3 of The Maneater. It has been reprinted here as it appeared in the paper in 2005. It is not to be seen as a current news article.
‘Cartoons and campus’ is this year’s pomping theme
The decorations will be presented today from 6 until 10 p.m.
By Karess Parks, Reporter
Although the annual Homecoming football game, blood drive and parade are several of the more noticeable and well-known traditions during MU’s Homecoming Week, there’s another tradition that ranks just as high in the Greek community. The tradition of house decorations is one that has not been around as long as its Homecoming counterparts, but the tradition is growing.
Homecoming house decorations began to appear on Greek houses in 1935, according to the university Web site, and, since then, have become more elaborate.
As part of the annual Homecoming celebration, Greek students spend several hours each day for weeks before Homecoming making house decorations by pomping. Pomping is a yearly tradition that is passed on from member to member each year within houses.
“Girls had to at least do four hours a week and six hours a day on marathon weekend.” said Kate Sarreshteh, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.
Marathon Weekend is the weekend before Homecoming when Greeks work to complete the final touches to their house decorations.
Each Greek chapter is paired with one to three different chapters, and they are given a theme for decorating.
Kappa Delta sorority member Lauren Scheidemantel said the theme for this year’s house decorations is cartoons and hotspots on the MU campus.
“Our theme is X-Men on Faurot,” she said, referring to Faurot Field.
Sarreshteh said Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s theme involves the cartoon “The Jetsons.”
Scheidemantel said pomping is an important tradition for her sorority and MU Greek Life heritage.
“It’s a tradition and has been going on for a long time,” she said.
Pomping is the process of folding tissue paper around a round object, such as a marker or a finer, and then gluing it to a board to create the background for the house decorations.
Pomping is not cheap. Greeks chapters could spend more than $1,000 on tissue paper alone because a box of flame-retardant tissue costs around $50. Because it takes many boxes to create the background for the house decorations, many pairings buy 150 boxes of tissue.
Along with pomping the backgrounds, the Greek pairings had to incorporate a five-minute skit to perform in front of the house decorations.
The decorations must be completed by 4 p.m. today so they can be up and organized for inspection by the Columbia fire marshal at 5 p.m. The performances, which are open to all students and community members, last from 6 until 10 p.m. tonight.