Simon Bronner S Campus Traditions
Without primal screams students would likely bottle up their stress or try to release it in other risky manners such as drugs. Overall, primal screams help address the stress of academics during final exam times through creative non-dangerous methods such as Harvard’s Old Yard scream and Stephens College’s door slams. Another major folkloric contribution to keep students sane is the traditions of college rivalry through pranks and jokes. Campus rivalries help students cope with the anxiety of trying to belong within their college or university of thousands.
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Without a sense of belonging many dents will feel they are a number and not a part of a larger community. For example, at Indiana University a rivalry joke claiming that Purdue fans say they are number one but do not know how many fingers to hold up is passed around. This joke not only demeans their rivalry school and supports that true fact that II students are better but also helps students feel belonging by making the joke a “us vs. them” mentality. Many of these rivalry traditions take place when the two student bodies have the chance to interact such as sporting functions.
One example is when North Carolina State students detained the University of North Carolinas mascot after a game in the sass. He was later painted the NCSC colors and returned when the UNC administration threatened to cancel the remaining games. The creativity of this prank by painting the rival mascot their school colors is what makes this story a rivalry tradition. It is also likely many students get a sense of pride and belonging when reminiscing about the story. Overall, college rivalry addresses the stress Of community in college through the forms Of jokes and pranks usually occurring around the atmosphere of sporting events and games.
The final folkloric contribution to be reviewed is the traditions involving campus graduation such as “Moving-Up Days” and “Class Days”. The folklore involving graduation is usually means to deal with the anxiety of transition from college to the real world and all the responsibilities that come with it. For example, at Chatham university the seniors bestow their class color to the juniors just before their graduation at Moving-up Day. This allows the seniors to address the stress of graduation by letting go of their class status so they can move on to be a part of one class with society.
Another form of campus graduation traditions is Class Days where the entire senior class performs an event. One example is at Williams College where seniors will plant ivy to leave their permanent mark on campus. This allows seniors to feel that they left their impression on the campus and that they changed it for the better which allows them to graduate stress-free knowing whether or not they made a difference on campus. Overall, the traditions of Class Day and Moving-Up Day are creative folkloric forms of dealing with the anxiety of transition into the real world.