The 25 Craziest College Traditions

by Staff Writers

It seems like every college has at least a few traditions. Football superstitions, finals week stress busters, and others are found on most campuses. But then, there are those that are crazy, totally cool, or just plain weird. These crazy college traditions toe the line of insanity, while at the same time ensuring fun for all who participate.

  1. The Foot of Good Luck: Students at Yale rub the foot on Theodore Dwight Woolsey's statue, believing it will give them good luck.
  2. Serenading: At Vassar College, freshmen and seniors experience Serenading. During this tradition, freshmen sing insulting songs while seniors walk door to door, and students throw condiments like ketchup filled water balloons and chocolate syrup.
  3. Cadet vs Civilian Snowball Fight: At Virginia Tech, civilians and cadets hold a snowball fight during the first big fall each year.
  4. Death by Chocolate: Pomona College students are treated to a pre-finals smorgasbord of chocolate goodies. Students also do a Ski-Beach day, visiting a ski resort early, and heading to a local beach for the afternoon.
  5. Hump It Aggies!: During football games and other sporting events, A&M fans scream "Hump it Aggies!" This also includes bending over into a hump position, pushing out their diaphragms. Students get together for Yell Practice before games to ensure that they perfect this and other yells.
  6. Liquid Latex: Each year, about 1/4 of the students at Brandeis University participate in Liquid Latex, a body art fashion show in which models are painted entirely in liquid latex paint, and nothing else.
  7. Spree Day: At Clark University, students enjoy a spontaneous fun day on campus. School administrators spontaneously cancel classes and put on a celebration including bands and entertainment.
  8. Orgo Night: The day before the Organic Chemistry exam at Columbia University, the Columbia University Marching Band takes over the reading room at Butler Library to play and distract students from studying for finals.
  9. Healy Howl: In the campus cemetery at Georgetown, students gather at midnight on Halloween to howl at the moon. This tradition started after The Exorcist was shot on campus.
  10. Dragon Day: Annually at Cornell, Spring Break is kicked off with Dragon Day, in which students have a dragon procession around campus. The dragon is created by first year architecture students, and was inspired by the legend of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland.
  11. Hello Walk: Former University of Idaho President Alfred Upham greeted everyone while walking from his house to the Administration Building every day, and even made the greeting mandatory. On this pathway, many students continue the tradition.
  12. Unofficial Duke Graduation Requirements: Unofficially, Duke students should do 5 things before they graduate: drive around the circle backwards, go tunneling on campus, climb the dome on top of Baldwin, and have sex in the gardens and library stacks.
  13. Fourth Year Fifth: At University of Virginia, some seniors consume a fifth of liquor on the morning of the last home football game. This dangerous tradition is controversial on campus and beyond.
  14. The World's Largest Drum: Before Purdue football games, you can catch sign of the world's largest, and very loud, drum.
  15. Tufts Naked Quad Run: The Naked Quad Run at Tufts takes place on a cold winter night, running around the residential quad. It started as a protest from the then all-male school.
  16. Birthday Dunk: If you're unlucky enough to be on campus on your birthday at Occidental College, you'll end up dunked in the Oxy fountain, which is reportedly full of green slime.
  17. Primal Scream: Massachusetts is cold during fall exams, but that doesn't stop Harvard students from taking a naked run around campus. Students take a break from studying the night before exams begin to blow off some steam with a naked run on campus.
  18. Dooley: During Dooley's Week at Emory University, the school's unofficial mascot, Dooley, makes unscheduled appearances to let students out of class.
  19. Streaking: Streaking happens on lots of college campuses, but Dartmouth seems to have the most. The school even has an underground streaking organization, known as the Thursday Night Streaking Club.
  20. Fox Day: Each year the President of Rollins College surprises students with a special Fox Day. On this day, the President places a fox statue on the lawn, and cancels classes for the day so that students can spend the day doing things as a college.
  21. Tea Time: Every weekday afternoon, students and professors can take a break from work to enjoy tea time. Tea and coffee are served in the Art Exhibition Room at Macmillan Hall.
  22. Full Moon on the Quad: At the Full Moon on the Quad at Stanford, students (usually seniors and freshmen) line up at midnight to exchange kisses on the main quad of the university.
  23. Pumpkin Drop: Muir College students watch a pumpkin get dropped from the 11th story of Tioga Hall. Typically huge, the largest pumpkin was 398 pounds and splatted over 100 feet. The pumpkin is filled with candy for students to find among the splatter.
  24. Toast Toss: Students at the University of Pennsylvania toss pieces of toast after the 3rd quarter of home football games. The school has a special zamboni for the purpose of cleaning up the toast.
  25. Polar Bear Swims: Dartmouth is crazy enough to make this list twice, with Polar Bear Swims during the Winter Carnival. An opening is drilled through the ice of Occom Pond, and students jump in with a rope tied around their waist.