As a third-generation legacy student, I was raised hearing mischievous stories from my mom and her days as a student here at Graceland University. While hearing these stories, my mind was often bombarded with quite vivid imagery—ranging from naked runs through campus all the way to sneaking off with people’s towels in the showers. One of her funniest stories is about this time that it snowed and the guys went over to Tess Morgan and barricaded the doors with snow—which the girls retaliated by chasing the boys down with ice cold water (once they dug themselves out, that is.) And who can forget the infamous sidewalk crawls? This is the Graceland I came to know and love.
However, when It was my time to attend Graceland, things were a little different than I had anticipated. For one, naked runs have turned from whole hall functions to two dweebs running around naked. Where we were once united in these childish and often daring stunts, we now have this ultra-sensitive community that’s found fun in other outlets. So even though we’ve distanced ourselves from what we’ve known, we’re continuing with new and some tamer traditions. These traditions can range from the tamer painting of the bell to shower parties.
Now, I understand that a lot has changed from her day—for one, we have indoor plumbing and internet (I kid, I kid—we still don’t have internet)—but one reason Graceland University has become so tame was the installment of Title IX. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Over the years, the title IX regulations have been amended and revamped as a living law to cater to the current societal needs. While these implementations have helped with inclusion, they have been and continue to be more of a hindrance than a helpful tool—especially when planning out house functions.
Now don’t get me wrong, by no means do I condone “hazing,” but to an extent, the transition from high school to college is a rite of passage many students look forward to. More than anything in this world, I want to run across this campus butt-naked; I want to climb the gym; I want to bring back Elephant Walks in the halls; I want to slip n slide down my dorm hallway. I want the Graceland that I used to know.
In general, these traditions have been some of the hallmark reasons people come to Graceland. The bonds that you make with the men and women on your halls can be everlasting, and I think that’s special. Personally, I would have loved being blindfolded with my fellow freshman and left to the mercy of the upperclassman. Because while you can still make these friendships, there’s this next level of friendship that Graceland has been known to foster—and that’s beautiful. #MakeGracelandGreatAgain