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Alumni remember old BU traditions

Nov. 6, 1998



Throughout Baylor's existence, class loyalty and rivalry have resulted in several strange traditions, many of which have long since been forgotten.

One such tradition required freshmen to wear green and gold felt 'slime caps.'

'Slime caps were a wonderful way for older guys to know you were a freshman girl,' Mona Burchette, a 1958 graduate, said.

Some traditions involved rivalry between classes, such as the 'capping' of Judge Baylor.

'Freshmen would put a slime cap on Judge Baylor and then surround the statue. Then the sophomores would come to take the cap,' James Hardwick, a 1966 graduate, said.

Many alumni who were made to wear slime caps are puzzled by the discontinuation of the tradition.

'I don't see anything wrong with slime caps,' said Robert Turner, a 1960 graduate. 'I think it's good that people coming out of high school develop a little humility. Slime caps don't hurt and will help to develop a little character.'

'I heard that it (slime caps) is considered a form of harassment. That's hysterical,' Burchette said.

Another forgotten tradition that more closely resembled harassment was the freshman walk.

'The freshman walk took place at the end of the year,' Turner said. 'The upperclassmen would hit you with coat hangersand tape you up and pour paint on you for a few hours. Then you were driven about 20 to 30 miles out to an isolated area where they would strip you and leave you. Kerosene really burns when you try to get the paint out of your hair,' he said.

Burchette also said class loyalty and rivalry were very important.

'I had a very strong sense of class,' she said. 'We didn't tend to have small groups of friends. I was friends with our whole class.'

'Every class had their own cheer,' Hardwick said. 'Our cheer was, 'We're the class that really clicks, we're the class of '66!'.'

Another tradition that has been abandoned is the freshman paper, which was published in the fall or early spring.

'Freshmen used to publish their own newspaper devoted to slamming the sophomores and building up the freshman class,' Burchette said. 'Everyone in the class was involved in the paper. It was the sophomores' job to find the paper and destroy it. That's when all the cloak and dagger stuff would come out. Freshmen were kidnapped and interrogated by the sophomores.'

Fortunately, not all traditions die. Standing together as The Baylor Line and cheering on the Baylor Bears still brings unity to the freshman class.

'The Baylor Line is a great tradition,' Turner said, 'because after you graduate it brings back good memories when you hear the song.'

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