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Every campus has their own weird little traditions. As a freshman at Purdue University, the first time you’re exposed to all of them can be a little overwhelming and sometimes pretty hilarious. Here’s my take on my idea of the top five Purdue University traditions.

5. Fountain Run

I like fountains. I like playing in fountains. I don’t like running. This is a problem if you want to do a true fountain run. The idea is that you sprint to and from each of Purdue’s 5 fountains. This can get pretty tiring in the harsh Indiana heat, even if you’re getting dunked in a freezing bath of bacteria every five minutes. Oh, and speaking of bacteria: there is most definitely a lot of it. You’re running all around campus barefoot, and splashing in tiny algae covered fountains with a bunch of other people. Of course, it’s all in good fun, and you might even find your new favorite place to take a dip in between classes.

4. Boilermaker Special

While my social status here is yet to be known, I’ve lovingly named this monstrosity the “Doot Doot.” Why? Because if you’re hanging out in your dorm for a while and things are quiet enough, you just might be able to hear a faint little train whistle go “doot doot” in the distance. Is Purdue next to any railroads, you ask? I don’t really know, but since we’re the Boilermakers and all, we have our own resident train that drives around campus and annoys the living crap out of everyone. Unless, of course, it’s game day. Then we rejoice in the doot doot as our eardrums get blown out.

3. Jesus Guy

Since college campuses are technically public property, just about every one of them has their resident radical religious person that preaches to anyone that will listen. I don’t think this guy really bothers anyone, but you can often hear students heckling him by sarcastically answering his inquiries as he shouts about fornication and other sins. The snippets of satirical prayer I hear as I walk by really do brighten up my day.

2. Bikes in Trees

Being a relatively cynical person, I think this is hilarious. Bike theft at Purdue isn’t really that big of a deal, but that doesn’t mean that if you leave your bike unlocked (or only lock one tire) it’s going to be where you left it when you come back. I’ve been at this school for about six weeks, and I’ve already lost track of the number of bicycles I’ve seen haphazardly hanging from tree limbs, not to mention all the poor blokes struggling to get them down. Just don’t leave your bike unlocked, and if you do, make sure to carry a step ladder.

1. Bananas on Amelia Earhart

So, Purdue is really proud of the fact that Amelia Earhart came here at one point in history. What better way to honor her legacy than making her statue a crown of fresh fruit every day? Earhart’s statue is right outside of the residence’s dining hall. Since the dining courts at Purdue allow you to take one piece of fruit with you as you leave the cafeteria, just about any banana that makes its way out of Earhart hall’s doors ends up in the poor bronze lady’s hair. I guess we’re just trying to give you the recognition you deserve, Amelia.

So, there you have it. Get to know your campus traditions. Some of them can be annoying, and some might not even make a bit of sense, but at least you’re all in it together.


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Sophia Holt-Wilson


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