Weary Wil in the flesh

Jake DeKraai

Student takes ‘hobo by choice’ to a whole new level

What does it take to have true school spirit?  Most would say that dressing up in school colors, being involved with school activities, and supporting the given university would fall under the category.

University Program Council President Alex Kunz surely agrees, but was willing to take it to the next level.

Kunz recently had a tattoo done of Weary Wil, SDSU’s Hobo Day mascot, on his right shoulder blade.

There is nothing in the background, and there are no colors, just the black and white tattoo of the classic hobo’s famous depiction.

Arriving to our interview with a sky blue Weary Wil t-shirt on, it’s clear this man is passionate about his tattooed character.

About a month ago, Kunz said the idea for the art came into his head, but he had been contemplating the idea of a tattoo for about a year.  With no particular piece in mind, Kunz was sure he needed something that meant something to him, and also pertained to many aspects of life.

Weary Wil was that something.

“It’s the Philosophy of a hobo lifestyle that got to me.  Although things may not always go the way you want them to, there is always a positive to life, and you need to keep on keepin’ on,” stated Kunz.  “There is a book in the bookstore called the Hobo Handbook that better explains this philosophy.”

With the 100th year of Hobo Day just around the corner, Kunz felt it the optimum time to receive this mark.  “This is my favorite time of year,” he said.  “ Being able to be here during the 100th anniversary is monumental.”

Kunz received his tattoo at Electric Crayon Tattoo Studio on 12th street in Sioux Falls, and was accompanied by UPC Vice President ReAnn Arcand, and Rec. and Travel Coordinator Laura Pierson.

At this point he has not planned a return visit to the tattoo parlor. “I really like the simplicity,” said Kunz.  “It is just black and white now, and I don’t think I will add anything.”

When asked if he regretted the tattoo, Kunz said, “It was very thought through. I don’t expect everyone, especially those who don’t attend school here, to understand.  I will always love the fact that I came here, and the long-standing traditions that we celebrate.”

Students seem to share this feeling with him.  Jillian Irlbeck, a junior off-campus, said when informed of the tattoo that, “I think it is amazing Weary Will was incorporated into his life in that manner. The dedication really proves his attitude toward school spirit as well as his mentality towards life.”

With UPC being the main coordinator for major campus entertainment, Kunz has had his hands full lately.

Alex Kunz is a very involved student here on campus.  Along with being the president of the UPC, he also is involved with the concert choir, volunteering in Hobo Day activities, working at the PAC and the new Hobo Shoppe.