Hobo Dictionary

Hobo Day: ìThe biggest one-day event in the Dakotas.î Hobo Day is SDSUís homecoming celebration. Preceded by a week of events, Hobo Day is celebrated with a parade, tailgating and a football game.

Traditions that are no longer around:

Kangaroo Kourt: At the end of Hobo Week, freshmen who were not compliant with initiation and Hobo Week celebrations were sentenced by the Kourt for their punishment, which involved public humiliation.

Nightshirt Parade: First occurred in November 1908 when men would dress in nightshirts and women would dress in bedsheets, parade through town and meet the opposing team at the train station. It was deemed unseemly for women to dress in bedsheets, and in 1912, Hobo Day was born.

Bum Olympics: Students from a variety of campus organizations and residence halls would form teams to compete in a variety of ëhoboí athletics.

Bed Races: Hansen Hall residents became known for their participation in the tradition from the 1970s to the 1990s. Students would dress in costume, put wheels on their decorated bed frames and push them down Medary Avenue.

Current traditions and terms:

Weary Wil: Began as a caricature drawn on the Pugsley Union in 1941, is the male face of Hobo Day. Every year since 1950, a Weary Wil has been making an appearance at the celebration. In 2012, a bronze statue of Weary Wil outside The Union became a permanent reminder of Hobo Day.

Dirty Lil: First appeared in 1980, Dirty Lil is the female face of Hobo Day. Throughout the week, an alumna disguised as Dirty Lil can be found at Hobo Day events pumping up the crowd for the big celebration. In 2013, a bronze statue of Dirty Lil joined Weary Wil.

Grand Pooba: Defined as a person of high power, the Grand Pooba oversees the Hobo Day Committee and is in charge of coordinating all Hobo Day-related events. 

Hobo Day Committee: Made of up 14 students, the Hobo Day Committee oversees the planning of all events surrounding Hobo Day.

Bummobile: A 1912 Model T Ford donated to South Dakota State College in 1938 by  Moody County farmer Frank Weigel. Each year, the Bummobile leads the Hobo Day parade. During the school year it can be seen driving around campus during move-in and game days. It travels across the state each summer to participate in parades to spread awareness of Hobo Day. 

 Shanty: Students participating in the Bum-Over build shanties, or shelters, to sleep in.

Pooba Stick: Similar to a kingís scepter, the Grand Pooba has it on hand for all official appearances.

Bum Stew: Part of the Hobo Day tradition since the Nov. 1 1912 celebration, stew has been served to hobos.

Hobo Day Gallery: Opened in 2012, the Hobo Day Gallery is located near the north entrance of The Union. It houses the Bummobile and other Hobo Day memorabilia. 

Rally at the Rails: Originally began with SDSU students going to meet the opposing football team at the train station, Rally at the Rails is a pep rally kick off to Hobo Week. It has expanded to include The Pride of the Dakotas, the Spirit Squad, a live DJ and yard games.

Hobo Day Parade: The morning of Hobo Day starts with a parade that makes its way down Medary toward Main Street. A variety of student organizations, groups from the community and the surrounding areas have the opportunity to build a float and participate. 

Miss Homelycoming: SDSUís ëhoboí men participate in the pageant, which features various competitions in evening gown, swimsuit and talent. The winner gets the title of ìMiss Homelycomingî

Cavorts!: Started in 1975, Cavorts! is a talent show that showcases SDSU students and their wide array of talents including dancing and singing.

Bum-Over: The Bum-Over is a giant sleepover that started in 2012. Students gather and build their own shanties and bond over their cups of Hobo Stew. A variety of activities take place including games, dancing and live music.

The Great Hobo Race: This is a campus wide challenge that tests students on their knowledge of hobo history and athleticism. Teams compete to be the first to complete the challenge, which resembles a scavenger hunt.

One-Month Club: SDSU men shave their faces one month before Hobo Day and grow their beard the entire month, ending with judging at Cavorts. Judges look for a variety of criteria and award prizes for ìFullest or Thickestî, ìLongestî, ìPatchiestî and ìBest Tryî.

Bum-A-Meal: During Hobo Week, students have the opportunity to dress up as hobos and receive a meal from a host in the community. 

Paint the Town: Campus organizations paint the windows of Brookings businesses.