Homecoming experienced many difficulties in the 1960s and early
1970s. As collegiate culture underwent a dramatic change in attitudes
and expectations, many students declared Homecoming "irrelevant." Other
students complained that it was a "Greek event" that was of little
interest to those who were not members of a sorority or fraternity.
Even when students and alumni attended, much of the
celebration's cohesiveness was lost. By 1960 the alumni, perhaps tired
of their children's rock 'n' roll, began to hold a separate dance. Many
fraternities and sororities followed suit. With so many separate events,
the all-campus dance began to lose money. It was abandoned in 1974.
Other traditions also began to weaken. The Friday night pep rally was
sparsely attended. The traditional bonfire fell victim to a Mount
Pleasant city ordinance banning outdoor burning. Although supporters of
Homecoming soldiered on, it was clear that the event was in trouble.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s various experiments were
attempted to reinterest students in the event. For example, a rock
concert was added to the weekend activities. In 1971 the event was
radically recast as a "Homecoming Carnival." A carnival came to campus
for the week. The parade was canceled. The Homecoming queen was renamed
"Miss CMU." Despite these efforts student interest lagged, and it seemed
possible that Homecoming would become only a memory.