Monday, February 28, 2011

Wabash College is an institute that breathes tradition. Tradition is one of the most important qualities this college stands for; it brings unity together among its students, faculty, and staff. Wabash College has many traditions that are important to different students and faculty members, from the cursed arch by Goodrich Hall, to the annual first semester chapel sing put on by fraternity pledges and freshmen independents. For me, the most important tradition among our tightly knitted community is a much newer tradition, the Allen Center "W". When I was an incoming freshman on a football recruiting visit, one of the football players informed me NEVER to step on the "W", as doing so would be a sign of disrespect to the Wabash community and its sports teams. The "W" is not only representative of our great sports facility and its teams, but it also stands for what our school represents. The "W" represents our higher learning all-male institution, it represents our amazing faculty members and staff, it represents our "always fight" mentality and determination to never give up. By stepping on the "W", not only are you disrespecting our college, but you are disrespecting all the traditions and former students and athletes and faculty members who have paved the way to make Wabash College such an amazing institution. This is a tradition that I think some students don't hear about because of their lack of visitation to see the "W" at the Allen Center entrance. But just remember that, just like the arch that students dare not walk under, the "W" represents our community and the traditions we are so proud to uphold as our own. I hope that our students who do not know as much about this newly implemented tradition will learn to avoid tainting the "W" by walking over it, and walking around it in praise as something that is important to our college.

1 comment:

  1. To the Wabash community, avoiding the red “W” in the Allen Center is certainly a tradition that many of us follow and respect. It’s safe to say that the majority of faculty, students, and staff refuse to step on the “W” out of respect for one of Wabash’s main traditions. However, it must be mentioned in looking at the tradition from a post-structuralist perspective that it’s not solely something that characterizes Wabash as an “amazing institution.” Although many of us share that view of the school, a post-structuralist would respond by mentioning many other possible aspects of the college that could define it as amazing. We have traditions like the arch, Chapel Sing, and events associated with Homecoming. However, they would question whether anyone has the right to consider the red “W” something that makes the college amazing at all. They could look to bring the complete opposite of this view. They could argue that the arch doesn’t represent tradition or the respect people have for the college, and that it has no significant relation to the values Wabash stands for. They could even question what role the arch plays in our society, and how it could be so symbolic.