Living in a 10×10 cinderblock cell and eating the same cafeteria pizza every day tends to get old. We’re bound to find ridiculous ways of entertaining ourselves. Surprisingly, streaking isn’t among the oddest things college students do as a result of cabin (er, dorm) fever — not even close actually. How about building a 700+foot sub sandwich? Driving up to 1,000 miles to check off a scavenger hunt item? Or dropping a 400-pound pumpkin off the roof? Check out our list of the zaniest university traditions.
1. Scav Hunt – University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Every Mother’s Day weekend, the University of Chicago hosts the largest scavenger hunt in the WORLD (made official by the Guinness Book of World Records). This event is not your average scavenger hunt. Spanning over four days, the list even sends students across state lines. According to the website, the trip is designed to go within 1,000 miles of Chicago. Previous trips have led students to New Orleans, Wyoming and even Canada.
Jeremy Ziring, senior at University of Chicago and Head Judge of next year’s hunt, elaborates, “Some items are the sorts of ‘go-find-its’ you’d expect to find in a scavenger hunt, but much harder to acquire (a medal of honor, your team’s logo pictured at the South Pole, and a lion, tiger or bear on campus have all been list items). Other items require extensive building, such as an aquagraphic water curtain or a piano that mixes a drink when a specific song is played.”
2. Renn Fayre – Reed College – Portland, Oregon
“Spontaneous dance parties, collective haircuts, Renn Fayre — it’s a nice combination of blowing off steam and creative anarchy.” That’s Renn Fayre according to student Lindsay Juarez on Reed’s website. Originally, Renaissance Fayre was a one-day event in the spring that turned the campus into the Age of the Renaissance as realistically as possible. Now, Renn Fayre is a campus-wide end-of-the-year blowout lasting three days. Naked people covered in blue paint, lube wresting, fireworks, a Glow Opera and a giant fire composed of students’ notes? Renn Fayre has it all.
Renn Fayre is preceded by Nitrogen Day, a campus-wide party/tribute to “one of the universe’s most important, yet underappreciated elements.”
Truly one of the wildest university-sanctioned traditions, the essence of Renn Fayre is best captured in photographs. Check some out here.
3. Big Sub – Barnard College (Columbia University) – New York, New York
Barnard College puts the standard foot long to shame with a 700+ foot-long sub (no, that isn’t a typo — 700!) As a way to blow off midterm steam each year, a combination of the college’s students and dining services staff craft a sub that extends from one end of campus to the other. The sub is so big that students need a map to navigate it, according to Annie Aversa, associate dean of campus and residential life at Barnard. Students stake out at their favorite section.
“It’s gone before you can blink an eye,” said former Barnard student, Shannon Troy. “Especially the veggie sub portions. I’m not sure whether that’s due to it being in New York City or being an all girl’s school … It’s an all-day affair for a hurried flurry of consumption.”
Fun fact? Aversa said it took more than 800 pounds of materials (meat, cheese and veggies) to create last year’s sub.