The rule of thumb seems to be that traditions are meant to be broken, especially here at Fairfield (example: the decisive elimination of Clam Jam). Traditions tend to be among the few sacred and beautiful parts of college life – why do away with them?
Especially in the spring, when thermometers rise just as class attendance plummets, traditions provide community-wide stress relief through exciting and often ridiculous activities for the student body. Many students look forward to these traditions, rather than dread finals, days apart from roommates and rigorous summer internships.
This is why I believe that traditions at Fairfield need to be revived. Perhaps we can get inspired by expanding our horizons, even to other countries and states, to see how others have mastered springtime traditions.
We at Fairfield might start by looking to the Aussies. The “land down under” definitely seems to know how to do its warm weather traditions just right.
Each July, the Aussies hop atop camels and participate in the annual Camel Cup, a speedway track race that functions much like a horse race – only with much more interesting animals. Competitors race camels around the track, as belly dancers and rides serve as attractions at the carnival-like event, according to camelcup.com.au. . How about a Stag Cup, anyone?
The Aussies also hold another event that will surely appeal to the college demographic: The Darwin Beer Can Regatta. In this ridiculous competition, “shipbuilders” construct any type of boat they desire out of empty beer cans, according to beercanregatta.org.au .
Upon completion, the beer can boats are then brought to the ocean and the creator tests it out to see how long it will hold up and how far it will sail. Maybe we could try this across Bellarmine Pond?
Ocean City, N.J., also holds a pretty strange festival every August that we can look to for ideas. During this day-long event there is taffy sculpting, French fry sculpting, artistic pie eating (pies are shaped like boats, seagulls and the state of New Jersey) and celebrity superhero impersonation contests, according to 2camels.com .
I could see a festival like this working here at Fairfield. We can hold it every April and have it take place either in the Quad or at the beach.
These are the types of traditions that survive the years and don’t go the way of now-extinct Fairfield traditions. I’m not saying we need camel races around our track or anything –
although that would be awesome.
What students do need is inspiration to breathe life back into Fairfield’s traditions. We need to devise something slightly ridiculous and completely entertaining to hand down from Stag to Stag – something that we can be proud to give to the next generation of students who will be wearing red and white.