1. Yale University: The Naked Library Walk And The Naked Punt Return
“First, there’s the naked library walk (NOT run) during finals where a good fifty people, if not more, hand out candy, butt naked. There’s lots of [body] hair. It’s not pretty.
“There’s also the naked punt return. The lacrosse fraternity waits for the first snow of the year. Once the main campus bar closes, everyone heads to old campus and the frat’s pledges have to return punts in their thongs. Meanwhile, football players are all there to tackle them into the snow. And EVERYONE watches.”
2. University of South Carolina: The Legend Of The Maxcy Monument
“The Maxcy Monument is this stone obelisk in the middle of campus with a golden ball sitting on top of it. Legend says the ball was supposed to spin when a truly ‘good’ girl walked past it — ‘good’ meaning virginal, pearl-wearing, Southern and Christian to the core — but of course the ball never moved. At some point the ball was either stolen or enough parents complained about it never spinning when their daughters walked past it that the school had to weld the ball into its little iron holster, so now there’s no chance of it spinning ever again.”
3. University of Wisconsin: Sex In The Stacks Of Memorial Library
“Having sex in the library is a big thing, to the point that having sex in Memorial Library stacks is pretty much seen as a rite of passage. College Library, another one on campus, has rooms with two-way mirrors in the middle of the floor that people try to have sex in too.”
4. Macalester College: Ringing The Bell The First Time You Have Sex On Campus
“Macalester College is a tiny school in St. Paul, Minnesota. There was a huge old memorial bell (no one knew what it was memorializing), and the tradition was to ring the bell right after losing your Mac virginity — the first time you had sex on campus. Every time the bell rang, people would lean out of dorm windows to applaud.”
8. Stanford University: Full Moon On The Quad
“In order to become a true Stanford man or woman, you have to be kissed by a senior on the quad during the first full moon of your freshman year. It’s called Full Moon On The Quad and it’s basically a school-sponsored, whole-school make-out fest. The school mascot, a Tree, has a CLICKER to keep track of how many people he/she has kissed, and it’s in the hundreds. It’s published in the school paper the next day and they’re always trying to break the record. The hippie dorm always streaks through the middle of it.”
9. University of Pennsylvania: Sex Under The Button
“Legend has it that if you step on the ‘compass’ at the center of campus, you’ll fail all your midterms. The only reverse to the curse is to sleep with someone under the Claes Oldenburg sculpture of a broken button outside the main library. There is room for two small people down there – and there are definitely people who do try it.”
10. Syracuse University: MayFest
“Every May, the university gives students a day off. The point is supposed to be to showcase student work and achievements, so there are art shows and stuff like that. But everyone uses the day off to get drunk and party in the street. It’s called MayFest. A lot of people burn things in the middle of the street, including couches. People really like to roast couches.”
11. Presbyterian College: Drinking A Beer On The Top Of “The Nipple Of Knowledge”
“At Presbyterian, it was sort of a thing that all seniors, at some point before graduation, should drink a beer on the roof of Neville Hall, our most famous academic building. We called it the Nipple of Knowledge.”
12. Harvard University: Primal Scream
“At midnight on the eve of final exam week, students strip down for a three-minute sprint through Harvard Yard called Primal Scream. Some people wear capes and hats, but no underwear. They say naked thrills always inspire effective studying.”
13. Ohio State University: Naked Jump Into Mirror Lake
“The week before the Ohio State vs. Michigan (our rival) football game at the end of November, everyone on campus jumps into Mirror Lake, the lake on campus. Everyone is completely wasted and usually in bikinis or as little clothing as possible. There end up being tens of thousands of people at this lake and it’s insane and always usually below freezing out and often snowing. It’s completely illegal and totally awesome.”
15. Duke University: Tailgating Without The Football
“Nobody went to the football games, because Duke’s team is terrible. But before football games, there was a university-sanctioned version of tailgaiting, i.e. barbecuing, hanging out in the bed of your pickup truck, and getting slowly drunk. Duke’s Tailgate took place in a parking lot outside of the football stadium, where everyone would go for three hours before game time in outlandish, revealing costumes, get insanely, aggressively intoxicated and then go back to their dorms and pass out. And of course, when the administration discontinued the tailgates, the students went on an ultra-entitled rebellion because they no longer had their ‘rights.’”
16. Cornell University: Dragon Day
“Right before Spring Break, the first year architecture students parade a huge dragon through the Engineering School’s campus. The engineers try to heckle the architects. It’s called Dragon Day and it is really a very strange thing to watch.”
With reporting by Lauren Lipsay.
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