Guest Essay

Last week, Wabash College experienced one of its greatest traditions ever: Homecoming! This was our 104th year of Homecoming, a milestone that should be appreciated and praised since tradition is so imperative to this campus.Because tradition is something we pride ourselves on here at Wabash, my goal was to make Homecoming as similar as I possibly could in years past. Little did I know that I would face so many challenges, since the homecoming that I was trying to recreate was the one from my freshman year. The previous two years involved a homecoming that was influenced by Covid, and it restricted the Sphinx Club from providing a normal Homecoming. Therefore, I was so nervous when planning Homecoming this year, since I had to recall all the knowledge from my freshmen year to recreate a Homecoming for the younger generation of Wabash students. I knew that if I had failed, the traditions that I experienced as a freshmen could be lost, and the current juniors wouldn’t be able to pass on any of the traditions before Covid.

That is why it was my mission to make this Homecoming the greatest it has been. I did my research, talked with previous Sphinx Club leadership, and planned an anti-Covid Homecoming that I know was memorable for the freshmen and for future Wabash men to experience when they embark on their journey at this crazy place.

I knew that if I had failed, the traditions that I experienced as a freshmen could be lost, and the current juniors wouldn’t be able to pass on any of the traditions before Covid. I first brought back House Chants, something I remember doing my freshman year, to start off Homecoming with something light-hearted and fun. This gave each pledge class and group of independents a chance to see the efforts each house puts into Homecoming week, allowing them to adapt to the more rigorous homecoming activities later in the week (i.e. banners, Chapel Sing and the float).

One of my biggest worries when planning Homecoming was bringing back a normal Chapel sing. The last time I experienced a normal Chapel Sing… I was in the process of getting my W. I had no idea any of the logistics and planning that were involved so I recreated this chapel sing using my memory. I remember brothers of each house bringing flags and standing in front of their pledges yelling, screaming and getting excited when a Sphinx Club member couldn’t stump a participant. It was awesome, electric, and a life-changing day for every participant as they experienced something that they have never experienced in their life before. This year, I am content knowing that we were able to provide a normal chapel sing, and that when new leadership is elected for the Sphinx Club, I know they will be able to provide a normal chapel sing for years to come.

However, even with all these great traditions that happened last week, this week hasn’t been the easiest due to some recent ungentlemanly conduct. A student was injured this past week guarding the bench, writing center posters have been stolen, there was paint in the bathrooms of Hays Hall and part of the chapel door was destroyed. Never in my four years here has there been so much violence in one week, and it breaks my heart for this college and campus. The reason being is because if we continue violating the Gentlemen’s rule with such acts, the traditions that we know on this campus will cease to exist. If there are no traditions on this campus, then Wabash would be just like any ordinary school, and if I wanted to go to a school that didn’t challenge me or push me to become a better man, I’d be in Greencastle right now.

But I will not give up on this campus because it hasn’t given up on me. The senior class is the only class that truly knows what a normal semester is like here at Wabash. It is our job to educate and inform the younger gentlemen to ensure that they know how these traditions work, and that they continue in the future. My request to the student body is this. Follow the traditions of this campus, to ensure that Wabash remains as Wabash. If we don’t have these traditions, we will never be united as a campus. You can think of every reason of why we didn’t win against Denison this past Saturday, but at the end of the day, it boils down to the fact that we are not united as a campus. To be ready for bell game, I urge the seniors to educate the younger men on how our traditions work so that we will be united as a campus such that we absolutely annihilate DePauw’s football team. If you care even an ounce about this college and the future of it, please come together as brothers, learn the traditions, and be respectful to those around you. The Sphinx Club and IFC have a plan in place as well to help with creating campus unity so that we will be ready come November. I look forward to our progress in the next coming weeks.