Incoming Freshmen Get Slimed During Traditions Week

Sept. 9, 2004

by Amanda Lewis, Student Newswriter

Baylor University welcomes the incoming Class of 2008 with Slime Night, an evening aimed to introduce freshmen to university traditions, at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, in Burleson Quadrangle. The evening's events will center on the slime cap, a Baylor tradition since the early 20th century.

Sponsored by the Place 2BU, which provides free or low-cost entertainment for the Baylor and Waco communities, Slime Night began last year to revive the fading tradition. In addition to participating in their first Baylor pep rally, freshmen will receive their own slime cap and learn the history behind the notorious beanies.

Campus Living & Learning community leaders and Welcome Week staff will rally students in the residence halls and at the Bear Pit at 6:45 p.m. and process down 5th Street. Baylor's Golden Wave Marching Band and Spirit Squads will accompany the students to Burleson Quadrangle, where they will be greeted by various student organizations. Upon arriving, more than 2,500 freshmen will receive their slime caps from Student Life faculty.

Dr. Dub Oliver, dean for student development, and Dr. Eileen Hulme, vice president for student life, will address the newest additions to the Baylor family about spirit and what it means to be a Baylor Bear. They will also explain the slime cap tradition.

"The slime cap is enduring because it symbolizes a rite of passage. New freshmen students realize that they are in this together, they are one class. The slime cap is uniquely Baylor, and that makes it enduring as well. There are also a large number of alumni who speak fondly of their slime caps and their memories as freshman students," Oliver said.

Slime caps were introduced at the turn of the 20th century so that upperclassmen could identify incoming freshmen. The green and gold beanies include the student's graduation year on the front, and tradition suggests students write their name and hometown on the inside of the bill.

While slime caps are no longer worn on a regular basis, freshmen were once required to wear their beanies upon leaving their residence halls. Failure to comply with the tradition

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resulted in singing "That Good Ol' Baylor Line" at an upperclassman's request. Requirements varied throughout the century, but at one point, freshmen wore their caps every day until the Homecoming football game.

"As a freshman, I am so excited to take part in all the traditions I have watched for so long. The slime cap symbolizes being the newest members of a Baylor family that holds its traditions very near and dear. The slime cap is just a way for us 'new kids' to prove that we, too, are ready to continue the tradition of spirit and love of Baylor," said Katie Wilhoit, a Dallas freshman.

Slime Night kicks off Traditions Week, sponsored by the sophomore class. The week's activities also include the Freshman Tailgate, Prayer Meet and Greek Life Day.

For more information regarding Slime Night, contact the Place 2BU office at 710-4919.

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