News & Features, October 2021, Previous Issues

How Homecoming came together: Q&A with Jalen Baker

Jalen Baker, the Director of Student Activities & Greek Life for Saint Augustine’s University, was chiefly responsible for planning Homecoming. Joi Davidson of The Falcon Forum staff sat down with Mr. Baker to find out more about that process.

Q: How much time did you have to prepare for the events?

A: Over the summer, last May.

Q Did you have help to plan or was it a one-man job?

A: The CAB students and the assistant of Office of Student Engagement; Montrell Davis helped.

Q: What strategies did you use to determine the events we had?

A: Adding new artists. For example, Wild n Out guest. Then having the students doing surveys and asking opinions on the polls.

Q How come the Homecoming was early, instead of having it in October?

A: We did not want to mix up with other schools and let the students experience Homecomings at other universities to have fun.

Q: What connections did you have to get in contact with the celebrity guest?

A: I have worked in higher ed positions and was an active student on my campus. Also, I got in contact with agents, promoters, and managers.

Q: How did you feel being in charge of Homecoming?

A:It’s a great honor to be over Homecoming and hearing the students saying, “This is the best Homecoming” makes me feel good as well.
Q: What other celebrities do you think the students would love to have next year?

A: The students want the Cardi B’s, Lil Babies, and Megan Thee Stallions but we want to get artists that are underground with a new sound. We are looking for artists that can win the crowd and have energy on stage.

Q: Which event did you enjoy the most?

A: Wow, this is a hard one, but I would pick Wild n Out. There was lot of energy in the crowd and in the participants on stage. The students were comfortable going on stage and enjoying themselves without being starstruck.

Q: Was it a challenge to get in contact with the special guests that came?

A: I had over 30 celebrities to pick from. It was not a challenge contacting them but a challenge of picking the celebrity.

Q: Pick a quote to describe Homecoming

A: Saint Augustine’s University’s Homecoming was the greatest of all time!

– Joi Davidson