College Media Story Ideas: Crazy Campus Traditions

Dragon Day.  Orgo Night.  Primal Scream.  Pumpkin Drop. Toast Toss.  Polar Bear Swim.  Hello Walk.  Naked Quad Run.

At many colleges and universities, crazy traditions are as much a part of campus life as fall football Saturdays and final exams.  (My favorite: the Healy Howl, a Halloween rite of passage for Georgetown University students involving a midnight campus cemetery howl at the moon.)

Students at many schools include a fountain run on their campus bucket list.

In a brainstorming session with j-students recently, the following questions were tossed around as possible ‘tradition piece’ prompts:

  • What are your school’s most hallowed, reviled, and quirkiest traditions– official and unofficial?

  • How did they begin?  How have they evolved?

  • Who is involved in planning, participating or stopping them?

  • What are administrators’ formal, and informal, stances on how they reflect upon the school?

  • What is a part of a tradition, or a perspective on a tradition, that has not yet been explored by your student press?  (For example, instead of reporting upon the students running naked in the campus plaza, tell the story from the POV of the campus security officer forced to arrest them or slow the run to a walk.)

  • How much do students actually know about the traditions in which they are taking part?  (What are the biggest misconceptions surrounding the traditions?)

  • How can multimedia tools be employed to report upon these old-school activities in new ways?

  • According to current students, which of the traditions are becoming less relevant or have entirely run their course?

  • And what are new traditions that students would like to start?
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