The University of Miami will flood its campus with orange on Friday while establishing and defining the first year of its newest tradition.
Student Government (SG) is hosting the first ever Orange Festival on the Rock and Green to remind the university of its history and traditions.
The lack of any schoolwide celebration in the spring prompted Melissa Guller, SG chief of staff and Iron Arrow member, to plan such an event.
“The students … have a lot of pride in the U, and … we’re all generally happy to come here,” she said. “But I think we’re lacking on education on UM traditions.”
The event will feature a book signing for Sebastian’s new children’s book, Iron Arrow tappings, specials at the Rat, free orange food and shirts, and a pledge campaign to not step on the seal.
There will also be traditions tables. Students can go to these tables to learn about different facets of UM’s history, as well as different facts about the traditions. Anyone who goes to every table will receive a free orange shirt.
In order to involve more students, many student organizations have been asked to depict various traditions by painting a canvas.
“We’re going to have all of these really fun things, but it’s not meant to be like Homecoming or Greek Week in that it’s competitive,” Guller said.
Additionally, students with the craziest orange outfits will have their pictures taken and uploaded to Facebook. The person whose picture receives the most likes will win a gift card to the Rat.
The biggest push is for people to wear orange, said Jonny Diaz, chair of the Orange Festival Committee.
“The events themselves are nice, but they can change,” Diaz said. “No matter what club you’re in, no matter what school you’re in, the one constant in all of our lives is orange.”
Diaz’s parents, who both attended UM, were thrilled when he told them about the new event that resembled Carni Gras, an event they attended while in school.
“It was a nice event to celebrate being a part of the university,” said Josie Diaz, who received her master’s degree in accounting in 1988.
Carni Gras, as Josie Diaz remembers it, consisted of booths, food and performances on the intramural fields to bring the university together in the spring. She first attended the event her senior year of high school while she was in the process of choosing her college.
“It was a really nice event for the university and for … prospective students to see what it’s like to be a part of the Cane community,” she said.
When the festival is over, both Guller and Diaz hope the UM community will have a better understanding and appreciation for the history of school traditions, and that Orange Fest will evolve into a highlight of UM’s spring calendar.
“I hope that in 10 years, everyone knows that the Orange Festival exists because the orange is the foundation of our colors,” Guller said. “They know to wear orange the day before spring break, and they know why we don’t step on the seal, or why the Ibis is our mascot.”
What: Orange Fest
When: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday
Where: The Rock and the Green
Wear orange, bring your Cane pride!