Barnyard Cadets embrace tradition

The Barnyard Cadets hope to engage students with old Hobo Day traditions as well as a few new traditions this week.

“Hobo Week is our favorite time of the year, and it truly is the pinnacle of what it means to show your love for SDSU and to get involved,” said John Green, a member of the Barnyard Cadets. “There is so much going on all week, everyone can find something to participate in and enjoy.”

Something new that will coincide with pre-existing Hobo Week events is a live band playing in the student tailgating lot for the Hobo Day game. 

“We will still be providing either food or beverages to students in the lot for the time leading up to the game, and the band will be there to help build the atmosphere,” Green said.

The first new tradition the Barnyard Cadets will start is a symbolic gesture. Starting on Monday and lasting through the pregame warm-up on Saturday, a football will be placed on a stand in the Hobo Shoppe. There will be a small bell next to it, and it is their hope that every student who enters the Hobo Shoppe throughout the week will be able to pick up the ball or ring the bell to “pass on their luck” to the Jackrabbit football team for the Hobo Day game.

This ball will then be delivered to the field and will likely be used in the ball rotation during the game. Eventually, by the time the quarterback touches the ball for the first time in the Hobo Day game, the entire student body has, hopefully, held the same ball.

The second new tradition the Cadets look to start will be associated with the Bum Over, held on Thursday night during Hobo Week.

“We will encourage as many people as possible to come to the event with cowbells, and at exactly 10:22 p.m., we will start a large bell ringing,” Green said. “The idea with this tradition is that eventually, on whatever date the Thursday night before Hobo Day is, a campus-wide bell ringing will begin at the exact time in the evening as the date… It is another example of tying a piece of our history together with a way to unite the students.”

Green said the Cadets have and will continue to work closely with the Hobo Day Committee. The two groups collaborate often and many events the Cadets put on feature the Hobo Day Committee as a centerpiece. 

“Three of the HDC members are also Cadets, so we have been sharing thoughts and ideas leading up to Hobo Week,” said Jacob Ailts, a member of the Barnyard Cadets. “The BYC are going to teach and lead the State Shout at a few of the different events, as well as be present at and assist with the other events throughout the week.”

The Barnyard Cadets know the amount of work it takes to put everything together during Hobo Week and wanted to help provide enough people to make all of Hobo Day Committee events a success. 

“The Hobo Day Committee spends about eight months planning for Hobo Day, and it is an incredibly time-consuming process and very stressful to pull off,” Green said. “…so as a traditions-focused group, the BYC will focus most of its energy during the week to making the entire Hobo Week a celebration of our history and what it means to be an SDSU student.”

This Hobo Day, the Cadets biggest goal is to get students involved and connect them to the rich and unique Hobo Week traditions, according to Ailts. He said they believe that every Hobo Week event should be on students’ SDSU bucket list. 

“We are most looking forward to the energy and passion that students bring to Hobo Week,” Ailts said. “There is such a high level of student spirit that it doesn’t compare to any other week during the school year.”

Green said he is most excited about the opportunity the Barnyard Cadets have to participate in traditions that have been a part of SDSU for 103 years. 

“Hobo Week and Hobo Day are truly amazing times,” Green said. “The mixture of old traditions, alumni coming back to town and the energy on campus is unmatched. Getting to play a part in all that, while trying to put a couple of our own stamps on the week as well, is something that we are very grateful to be a part of.”