While many students are focusing on finals, the Hobo Day Committee has been planning for Hobo Day 2012 since before January. There is no theme for Hobo Day 2012, said Nick Wendell, Hobo Day committee adviser and assistant director of Student Activities. In the past there was no theme, so in an attempt to bring back old traditions, this year will do the same.
“It is 100 years of Hobo Day being celebrated. For two years during World War II there was no celebration. Hobo Day has been officially celebrated 98 times,” Wendell said.
This year a centennial committee has been established from alumni of past Hobo Day Committees. In keeping with tradition, Ed Bain will drive the Bum Mobile. The Grand Pooba for the 2012 Hobo Day Celebration is Abby Settje, an advertising and graphic design major and also the student manager for Blue Print in The Union.
“Most of my duties are the same as past Poobas, but there have definitely been changes to the committee. For the past few years, the committee has been a part of the University Programs Council. After much thought, it was decided to try the committee on its own again like it was in the distant past. I am confident in the committee of students and cannot wait to see how the change evolves,” Settje said.
Many people are excited for this Hobo Day, as it is a chance for both old and new traditions to come alive.
“Right now the committee and I are working to develop a schedule of Hobo Week events. Nothing has been finalized, but we plan to have a mix of old traditions as well as some newer activities,” Settje said.
In the past, floats in the Hobo Day parade have been very beautiful and elaborate—truly Rose Bowl quality floats. This year the Committee is trying to get sponsorship for clubs so they will be able to build high quality floats again.
Other traditions that are being brought back include the “one month club” where males don’t shave their facial hair and women don’t shave their legs. The person with the most hair in the end wins.
Another old tradition being considered is a bonfire — 2008 was the last time it was held. The week leading up to Hobo Day will include activities to get alumni back, to redesign spirit points to get more students involved and to put renewed energy into the Hobo Day activities.
“We want to get students excited about things that have happened in Hobo Day’s past,” Wendell said.
To promote the Hobo Day celebration, members of the Hobo Day committee are taking the message to towns and county fairs around the state. Traditionally done in years past, the Bum Mobile will be going on tour to promote the Hobo Day celebration.
“The goal for this Hobo Day is that it will be a campus-wide celebration. Not just the Hobo Day Committee, Greek chapters and the Residence Halls. The hope is that it brings back alumni and also gets all students more involved,” Wendell said.
“There is always a little stress involved with an event as big as Hobo Day, especially this being the 100th, but right now I am mostly excited. Hobo Day is one of the biggest traditions at SDSU, and I am honored to be part of such a memorable day,” Settje said.
Hobo Day is one of the most highly anticipated and celebrated events on campus.
Jordan Goodall, a freshman from Centennial, Colorado said “I’m excited for the parade this year because I did not get to attend last year. I would love if they brought back the bonfire tradition because it is a big part of the Hobo Day tradition and everyone says it is so much fun.”
While this Hobo Day will not have a true theme, the goals are for more broad campus involvement by incorporating traditions from the past and present.
“My vision of Hobo Day is a combination of old and new. We are working hard to keep the tradition of Hobo Day alive while still keeping it relevant to today’s student body. Hobo Day is a great time to be a jackrabbit, and I hope to see students, alumni, and faculty celebrating the biggest one-day event in the Dakotas” Settje said.
The Hobo Day game is on Saturday October 27 at 2:00 p.m. against Youngstown State. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. that morning.