Anyone who has seen a college movie knows Hollywood universities have ridiculously lax attendance policies and hold zany traditions each student must perform.
The attendance policies at Troy University may be different than in movies, but Troy still has a few traditions for students to look forward to.
“Most freshmen, after their finals, they get in the fountain — that’s a pretty big thing,” said Gus McKenzie, a senior communication major from Monroeville and the Student Government Association (SGA) president.
Jumping in the fountain may be the best-known tradition. Some disagree on when a student is supposed to make the shallow dip, whether it be after a freshman’s first week of finals or before graduation.
Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves said caution while in the fountain is paramount; while the phrase says to “jump” in, he would prefer if students used caution instead of leaping inside.
“As far as jumping in there, there’s not a written policy, but you could very easily get yourself hurt in there from all the spouts sticking up (from the fountain floor),” Dean Reeves said. “We strongly discourage people from doing that.
“They definitely don’t need to go jumping in there, because next thing you know they’re going to impale themselves on one of those fountain heads.”
Some more daring students may get the idea to put suds in the fountain as a typical university prank; however, Reeves said that the soap could cause real damage.
“The soap gets into the system, and it’s very labor-intensive to drain it down, clean it out and get it back up and running without suds getting everywhere,” he said. “It does harm the system for the fountain.”
Some students also say they consider campus events to be traditions, such as special sports games or going tailgating before a home game.
“As far as university-wide (customs), there are some fun events that are traditions, like homecoming, hoopcoming and cram jam in Saga (the dining hall),” McKenzie said.
McKenzie has noticed how different classes make their own customs within themselves.
“Certain classes come in and have their quirks,” McKenzie said. “You’ll see one class come to football games and stay until the very end. The next year, everyone’s gone at halftime.”
“I love how Troy sings the fight song after every touchdown,” said Jenna Oden, a senior broadcast journalism major from Fairhope. “That just gets me full of school spirit.”
While she enjoys the football games, Oden said she saw Troy’s spirit in the close-knit friend groups and the customs that arise from them.
“Every club, organization and sport have their own traditions,” Oden said. “Students have their own traditions. The university itself doesn’t have traditions, but students have created their own, and that’s what really makes Troy.”