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FSU homecoming pep rally no longer called ‘Pow Wow’

Florida State University officially changed the name of its annual homecoming pep rally from “Pow Wow” to “Homecoming Live.”

Usually a fall event, homecoming was held this year April 5-10 due to the pandemic.Activities included a reverse-style parade in which floats, parade entries and performers remained stationary while spectators drove through the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center parking area to view them.

The FSU Spring 2021 Homecoming Council said it changed the pep rally’s name to “Homecoming Live” to demonstrate its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The announcement stated the name is “more in line with what the Homecoming Council wants to accomplish with this event: a student-focused, live event spotlighting the accomplishments of our students, alumni and community.”

After examining the historical context of the word pow wow, the council determined it not justify its use and stated the term should apply solely to the celebration of cultures of Indigenous people by Indigenous people.

“By comparing the pep rally led by FSU Homecoming to a pow wow, we, intentionally or not, disregard the history of why pow wows exist,” read the council’s statement. “The cultural significance of the term and the years of improper use by FSU Homecoming led to the decision by the FSU Homecoming Council to change the name from ‘Pow Wow’ to ‘Homecoming Live.’”

The council is comprised of students. “We take accountability for our actions and will continue to work to make FSU Homecoming more inclusive for all students,” the council stated.

Homecoming also included the Garnet and Gold spring football game at Doak Campbell Stadium, which consisted of two 12-minute periods in front of 14,329 socially distanced and masked fans. FSU’s season begins at home Sept. 5 against Notre Dame.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at