Opinion

Only with more time comes deeper meaning to traditions

Homecoming Week celebrates the proudest UM traditions, such as the Alma Mater, Iron Arrow and the Hurricane Howl canoe burning.

The celebrations culminate with Alumni Weekend, when past Canes reunite with old friends, enjoy a football game and be baffled by the new construction around campus. While many enjoy the flagship events, the focus on our few well-known traditions also highlights the lack of tradition at UM. This campus has never stopped changing, growing and reinventing itself since the day it was born.

Originally envisioned as a traditional, ornately designed campus, the university has rarely kept still since the Great Miami Hurricane in 1926. Departments, schools and campuses were gradually added. Even today, we see that there are new committees, departments and staffs being created around campus to figure out how to best govern a campus of 10,000 undergraduates. For 90 years, what we now know as the “U” has still been building its reputation as an academic institution and molding its identity as a student body – and athletic force. Because of all of this movement and change, the university is still rooting its traditions.

Some students feel that many school traditions are advertised to create an artificial form of school spirit. School myths and traditions that no one knows about, such as the “cursed” school seal outside of the Campus Store or the spirit tree outside of Ashe, seem to only be kept alive by P100s, Orientation and Homecoming.

While many universities inflate the importance of school quirks to make themselves stand out to prospective applicants, students may feel deceived when they arrive on UM’s campus.

Our history simply is not as rich as that of larger state schools or Ivy Leagues, and for good reason. We are still young. The traditions that will last in the years to come will be the ones that are organic, original and interesting, not simply those invented for the sake of tradition.

While groups like Cat 5 and the Orientation Committee do their best to keep tradition alive, a sustainable tradition has to be facilitated through less “authoritative” figures – from peer to peer. The success of our football traditions results from our incredible legacy and the genuine excitement our students have about winning games.

The university is also affected by its community. Miami itself is modern, superficial and transient. Miami still hasn’t circled back to the point of cherishing tradition and convention, and it may never. Somehow, these characteristics of the surrounding environment may shape the way students perceive their college experience.

Authentic traditions will grow only with time. With each additional class of Miami Hurricanes, our self-awareness as a community will grow and we will find more ways to take ownership of this legacy. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the free tee shirts.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board. 

October 26, 2016

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

When the 2018 recruiting cycle came to an end in February, Miami, Florida and Florida State all fini ...

The college football season doesn't begin until the end of August, but that never stops media o ...

There were indications, even before Lonnie Walker IV was selected No. 18 by the San Antonio Spurs in ...

Add another player to the Miami Hurricanes' 2019 recruiting class. Defensive end Jahfari Harvey ...

From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice fa ...

At the University of Miami, employee recognition comes in many forms. ...

Community art project encourages the public to explore the vibrant downtown area of Coral Gables and ...

It appears that his third run for the presidency will be successful as he distances himself from the ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

Anna Runia won the women's 400m hurdles at the Netherlands track and field championships, while ...

The University of Miami volleyball program will host nine ACC home matches and the Sunshine State Ch ...

Walker picked 18th overall by San Antonio Spurs, Brown 42nd by Detroit Pistons. ...

Gino DiMare was introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in Canes' history. ...

The University of Miami women's golf team had three individuals selected to the 2018 Atlantic C ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.