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NSU, ODU hold homecoming weekend events, follow different COVID-19 safety rules

The universities want to make sure the people who come back can celebrate safely, so there are a few differences from non-pandemic years.

NORFOLK, Va. — This weekend, Norfolk State University (NSU) and Old Dominion University (ODU) are both holding homecoming events for alumni.

It's a big celebration for Norfolk. ODU's football team will play Western Kentucky, and NSU's team will face off with Virginia-Lynchburg.

While it won't be the first official homecoming celebration since the pandemic began, the festivities will feel much closer to pre-pandemic times, since both schools did not have football seasons in 2020. 

The universities want to make sure the people who come back can celebrate safely, so there are a few differences from normal years.

At NSU, that means visitors will have to wear a mask indoors when they're not eating or drinking, and provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test result to come to events. Masks are encouraged outdoors, too.

“For me, it’s my last year. It feels extremely good because I didn’t know if I’d be able to have a homecoming this year, with so many being canceled," David Morton said, a senior at NSU.

"All external visitors registering for and attending events at Norfolk State University are expected to abide by University COVID-19 guidelines, which are based on CDC guidance, and are subject to change as conditions warrant," the NSU website says.

ODU isn't requiring anything to come to their outdoor events, but a spokesperson said masks are strongly encouraged.

“Even walking around [in 2020] it was like, no-one. Pretty much empty, didn’t seem like anybody in person last fall, so it's refreshing to be back," Karina Miranda, an ODU Junior.

If you're interested in attending any of the festivities, here are the ones coming up this weekend.

ODU's Homecoming

Oct. 15: 

  • Spirit Friday
  • Monarch Magic Kingdom
  • Polo G Concert

Oct. 16: 

  • ODU Football vs. Western Kentucky
  • Royalty Court Announcement
  • Homecoming Lunch
  • NPHC Reunion

NSU's Homecoming

Oct. 15: 

  • NSUAA 26th Annual Alumni Classic Golf Tournament
  • Spartan SpiritFest
  • School of Business Alumni Reception
  • College of Liberal Arts Alumni Reception
  • College of Science, Engineering & Technology Alumni Reception
  • School of Education Alumni Reception
  • NSUAA Happy Hour at Uno Pizzeria & Grill

Oct. 16: 

  • NSU Homecoming Parade
  • NSU vs. Virginia-Lynchburg
  • NSUAA Welcome to Hollywood Party

Oct. 17: 

  • NSUAA Sunday Worship Service