Student organizations celebrate Homecoming through RSOlympics


Glenda Avalos

UTEP students represent their organizations at the RSOlympics Friday, Sept. 27.

Anahy Diaz, Contributor

From collecting toiletries for the community to participating in a J. Balvin karaoke competition, student organizations have begun to show off their Miner spirit this Homecoming season through the “RSOlympics.”  

Organized by UTEP’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center, this series of events and activities aim to engage Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)in a competition where one lucky RSO will win $500.  

“It invites student organizations to come together, or on their own, to celebrate Homecoming week,” said April Reza, coordinator for student organization services at SELC. “This year’s theme is ‘All Around the World,’ so we will be having organizations team up together and represent countries.” 

Some RSOs competing in this year’s RSOlympics are Alpha Xi Delta and the Rugby Team representing England, the Medical Professions Organization (MPO) and Alpha Epsilon Delta representing Greece, the Sun City Chapter of Society for Neuroscience representing Brazil, Kappa Delta Chi and the Terry Scholars Student Organization representing Spain, among several others.  

“We wanted to team up with the rugby team in order to encourage our members to get involved with athletic events,” said Marah Abdel Jaber, the Panhellenic delegate for Alpha Xi Delta. “We wanted to do a partnership that could extend beyond Homecoming week. It’s ‘yes, we’re enjoying Homecoming, but we also want to support your team and we want you to support our team. 

The initiative encourages three values: collaboration, sportsmanship and school spirit. The RSOlympics aims to give students a break from the rigor of classwork. 

“A lot of students don’t get very involved,”  Jaber said. “I think it’s really exciting to push people and encourage them to see what UTEP has to offer, especially in an event like this, where so many organizations are participating.”  

The RSOlympics kicked off with an opening ceremony Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Student Recreation Center, along with the first two competitions of the week: a Mum-Judging Competition and a World Cup soccer match.  

For the mum-judging competition, the teams had to create and present a mum that signified their country to three judges, with Spain taking the win.  

“We judged based on four things: concept, execution, visual appeal and sub-theme,” said Eliana Grijalva, the coordinator for campus engagement at SELC and one of the competition’s judges.   

As for the soccer tournament, the organizations had to face each other in a series of matches with Greece placing first, England second and Spain third. 

“It was a very intense game so we’re very proud that we managed to win that one,” said Silva Villalobos, an MPO member and part of the winning team. “We just hope our new members are encouraged to get involved with UTEP and see that it’s also fun and not just all serious work.” 

This was only the beginning, as the following week is scheduled with plenty of other opportunities to win 

RSOs automatically earn points for participating in each event and earn extra points if they are among the top three teams to place. Upcoming events include the World Tour Relay Race, Tuesday Night Trivia, J.Balvin Karaoke, a Lip Sync Battle, the Homecoming Pep Rally and Dance and the Toiletry Wars. 

The Toiletry Wars is a friendly competition that will last until Oct. 2, where teams will compete to raise toiletries to help sponsor UTEP’s Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education department, which assists students who have been affected by crime.  

In hopes to give back to the community, the event plans to collect donations by incentivizing them with points that each RSO can receive for donating. 

One of these events is Celebration vs Appropriation, a panel that will teach the audience how they can celebrate a culture without appropriating it.  

“We hope everyone participates this week and is also out there at the football game,” Reza said.  

The winner of the RSOlympics will be announced Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Sun Bowl Stadium where UTEP’s football team will be competing against the University of Texas at San Antonio.  

Anahy Diaz may be reached at [email protected].