BY KYLE SARPONG
Traditions make colleges stand out and seem unique against the rest of the pack.
Ohio State has the sousaphone player who dots the “I” in Ohio State for the marching band. The University of Colorado-Boulder lets students run with the mascot, Ralphie the buffalo, on the field each game. From the gridiron to the Fargo-Moorhead area these traditions cultivate the college football experience for students, as even Concordia has a few traditions up its sleeve.
Concordia’s highly recognized beanies were established in 1992. The first beanies were green until 1942 when the dye used to make them became unattainable. After a 13 year drought, the beanies resurfaced with a maroon and gold colored sequence.
The beanie rules are simple. All freshman students are issued beanies and encouraged to wear them from move-in day until the signature “beanie toss” on Olin Hill during the first day of classes.
The rules, according to cord.edu, are “Beanies should not be worn off campus” and “Hazing activities involving the beanie are not permitted.” MSUM, however, has a long-time tradition of snatching the beanies, which almost ended in 2006 due to mass snatches.
Beanie snatching is a tradition MSUM may or not be proud of, but at one time MSUM and Concordia had a rivalry on the gridiron.
The annual Power Bowl series included MSUM and Concordia, but due to possible beanie thefts they haven’t played a regular season football game since 2007. Again, moving away from the gridiron, MSUM has a newly established tradition involving the office of First Year Programs.
Recently, incoming freshman were welcomed with open arms and a vibrant sense of community on campus during Dragon Days.
They were offered swanky red cable knit mittens with MSUM letters stitched into the middle. From what I am told, Admissions provided them and all incoming freshmen received the mittens on their Dragon Day. Family members could also obtain the mittens by winning games during the event.
“I absolutely love them,” Dragon Ambassador Amanda Olson said. “I love that they will help add to the Dragon pride we’re working on boosting around campus by starting with the incoming students.”
During her campus tours, a number of students told her they think the mittens are awesome because they are of good quality and comfy. Plus what student wouldn’t mind a little extra Dragon gear?
I am most definitely up for some new traditions on campus, and starting with freshman students is a bona fide idea. MSUM is chalk full of traditions on and off the field. MSUM mittens bring uniqueness to campus and a close-knit sense of welcoming that separates us from Concordia and NDSU.
Traditions like this and Dragon pride make me glad to go to a school like MSUM.
Perhaps giving out mittens during homecoming events and others on campus would help boost pride; hopefully the bookstore will supply them so current students won’t feel left out of the new tradition. I would love the new mittens and so would most of the current students.
Who knows, perhaps 92 years from now MSUM will still have the mitten tradition, and Dragon pride won’t be forgotten.