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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

Columbia University isn’t a school that’s known for its unwavering school spirit… except for Homecoming! For this one day, you’ll actually see Columbia and Barnard students repping their schools and populating the bleachers at a football game! Columbia Homecoming is essentially the sporting event of the year, and you won’t want to miss it! Roar lions, roar!

What, Where, When…

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Homecoming usually designates the first game a football team plays on its home turf. However, that’s not the case for Columbia; we already had our first home game (and win!) of the season on September 23 against Georgetown. 

Columbia Homecoming is a day when alumni are invited to return to campus for a variety of events, including the Homecoming football game. Alumni are able to register for catered meals, a tailgate, and various alumni receptions, but for students, the Homecoming game is the center of attention. Homecoming also lands during Parents’ Weekend!

Other athletic events are considered to be a part of Homecoming week, including the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame Induction on Thursday, 10/12, a Columbia Men’s Soccer game against Dartmouth on Friday, 10/13, a Columbia Women’s Soccer game against Brown on Saturday, 10/14, and a Columbia Field Hockey game against Brown on Sunday, 10/15.

In the week leading up to Homecoming, Columbia and Barnard host some kind of Spirit Week to create excitement for the game and foster school spirit! Barnard SGA is hosting Spirit Week: Monday is Hollywood Icon Day, Tuesday is Pajama Day, Wednesday is Wacky Wednesday, Thursday is Barbie Day, and Friday is Barnard Pride! 

Game Deets!

This year, Columbia’s Homecoming game is on Saturday, October 14. We’ll be playing UPenn at 1:30 PM at ​​Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium.

If you are a current Columbia or Barnard student, you do not need to buy a ticket for the game! You can gain admission by showing your CUID at the stadium.

Since we’re in NYC, we unfortunately don’t have a football field on campus, so it takes a trek to get to Wien Stadium. Luckily, Columbia Athletics offers free fan buses to shuttle all game attendees to the field! Shuttles start running a couple hours before kick-off, and the ride is around 45 minutes. If you want to take the shuttle, you can line up outside of Miller Theater, which is near the Broadway entrance of Columbia. Be aware that lines for shuttles form quickly: if you want to make it to the game on time, consider getting in line early, because waits can be long. Shuttles back to Columbia University start running once the game has finished, so keep that in mind if you plan on leaving early.

The shuttle isn’t the only way to get to the game — you can take a quick trip uptown on the 1 train to the 215th Street Station. From there, it’s a quick walk to the stadium. Taking the subway is definitely a less time-consuming option since you won’t have to worry about traffic.

Dress the Part!

Homecoming is all about being decked out in school spirit from head to toe. If you don’t already have Columbia or Barnard blues in your closet, definitely stop by the Columbia Bookstore or the Barnard Store and grab some merch! It’ll be chilly (and possibly rainy) on Homecoming Day, so consider wearing a sweatshirt or crewneck. If you feel like braving the cold, many students wear Columbia baby tees or T-shirts! And of course, a Lions hat is the perfect accessory. Superfans should definitely consider bringing pom-poms or a foam finger.

In past years, there have been merch and accessory giveaways on campus. Barnard SGA is doing a merch giveaway to students who participate in Spirit Week, post a picture, and tag @barnardsga on Instagram. Last year, Dodge Fitness Center offered free blue and white face paint and other accessories to people that stopped by to buy tickets. 

What’s the Vibe?

In case you were wondering, Homecoming is definitely not about football, so don’t worry if the most you know about the sport is that Taylor Swift went to a Chief’s game. Essentially, Columbia students use it as an excuse to act like they go to a state school and have actual school pride. It’s more of a social event than anything else: there’s usually a few pre-kickoff parties on Frat Row and plenty of photo ops on Low Steps. 

To have a successful Homecoming, the bare minimum you have to do is grab a group of friends and wear Columbia merch. Most students stay through halftime to watch the performances of various student teams. Typically, Columbia Dance Team, Columbia Cheer Team, and Columbia Band perform at the game.

Regardless of if you plan to spend your Homecoming weekend in the bleachers or in bed, be prepared for tons of school spirit and Columbia pride! From spirit events during the week, to parties and the game on Saturday, there’s plenty to look forward to. 

Inica Kotasthane

Columbia Barnard '26

Inica Kotasthane is a student at Barnard College in New York City. She's a big fan of writing (duh!), making zines, and curating her Spotify playlists. Prior to becoming President of the Columbia/Barnard Her Campus chapter, she was a National Writer for Her Campus. She is passionate about journalism and politics, and is especially interested in uplifting minority and queer voices in these areas.