Hobo Week has lost some of its appeal

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

Hobo Day is nearly upon us. A few of the Hobo Week festivities have already taken place. The Jackrabbit Rally was Monday night, where sadly I did not win the one-month club.

Bum-a-meal has also changed throughout the years. In the days of yore, SDSU students were able to walk around the streets of Brookings and knock on anybody’s door. Now, only households that sign up in advance have students come a knocking. It is not as open as it used to be.

What other traditions have we at SDSU lost since the original Hobo Day in 1912? Which traditions made a much-needed departure, while others left before their time?

In the early Hobo Days, women dressed as “fair Indian maids.” That tradition is probably best left in the past. In today’s world, it would not be proper to dress as Indian maids.

Many of the traditions that have been lost dealt with the mistreatment of freshmen. For example, freshmen were forced to wear green beanies. Any freshmen not wearing a green beanie would face dire consequences from the upperclassmen.

Freshmen also had to carry around candy for the upperclassmen. If an upperclassman asked a freshman for a piece of candy, they had to present the upperclassman with one.

Now these traditions are also probably better deceased. These types of actions can be construed as hazing, which is vehemently opposed on college campuses now. However, if these traditions were not abused, I think they could serve their place.

One of the more degrading traditions was courtesy of the Blue Key Men’s Honorary Fraternity. Every Hobo Day, the Blue Key members would host the Blue Key Smoker. The Smoker was a chance for men to sit around, tell dirty jokes and enjoy cigarettes and cigars. On the surface, it doesn’t seem too derogatory, but the Smoker was not necessarily men only. The Blue Key members “recruited” women to serve them the cigarettes and cigars. The servers were attractive, first-semester females the Blue Key members “recruited”. Here is an alum’s account of what the Blue Key members did:

“Members of the Blue Key Men’s Honorary Fraternity stalked the campus during Hobo Week with green markers and preyed upon the most attractive first-semester coeds who would dare cross campus without a green beanie and pigtails.”

Although the male chauvinist in me would like to reinstate that tradition, it is better that it no longer exists. Women do not deserve to be treated in such ways.

One tradition that has been lost and should be brought back is the growing of beards. In the past, it was more or less required that every man on campus grew a beard. The peer-pressure was so great that everybody did it. If a man did not want to grow a beard, he had to purchase a certificate that made him exempt.

I think a tradition like that still has merit in this day and age. Can you picture a campus of 5,000 men walking around with beards? I think it would be awesome. Growing of the beards is a great tradition because its something that gets students involved in school spirit and it doesn’t involve hazing of freshman.

Along the same lines, the tradition of burying a razor should be brought back. These two lost traditions seem to go hand-in-hand. Burying the razor symbolizes a willingness to not shave.

Overall, the biggest thing the school has lost is its school spirit during Hobo Week. Now, it seems like Hobo Week is just an excuse to get drunk – like we need one of those.

I attended the Jackrabbit Rally on Monday evening and was disappointed by the turnout. It seems that students just don’t care.

What sets Hobo Day apart from a regular homecoming is the extra activities that go along with it. If nobody does anything besides drink on the day of the game, Hobo Day has lost its uniqueness. It has turned into your average, run-of-the-mill homecoming, not something special to be embraced.

#1.883398:2207854054.jpg:ball_talk.jpg:Brian Kimmes, Ball Talk: