After the death of Linfield’s beloved Old Oak in January, the community will lose another campus icon this spring.
As you can read in our story on pages eight and nine of this issue, Linda Burris, Sodexho employee since 1989, is leaving to take better care of her husband. Burris has loved students over the years and taken care of us. We will all miss her dearly.
All good things come and go with time, but losing the Old Oak and Burris signify major changes occurring on campus, mainly the loss of tradition. The school desperately tried to keep the oak intact as long as it could, but a tree is a living thing and was meant to die someday. Burris needs to move to benefit herself and her husband.
What about the traditions and icons at Linfield that do not have a life span? Where have all of those traditions gone?
Linfield is a college founded on tradition. It’s rich history included May Day events, senior pranks, green beanie hats worn by freshman, attending Saturday football games and singing the alma mater at big gatherings. Now, there is no May Day celebration, no senior pranks and no beanie hats.
There has even been a decline in the number of students who show up to watch Wildcat football in the fall. Students used to bring couches and pile into stands in their Linfield gear. Now, many will not even venture out of their rooms to participate in one of the school’s most popular pastimes, especially if it is raining outside, because there is no covered seating for those without season tickets.
With the 150th anniversary of Linfield, some traditions are trying to make a comeback and some are being created. However, they probably will not continue through the years because students today are very different than those who participated in the traditions of the past. The Spring Song contest will be fun, but it is doubtful that it will draw enough excitement and participation that it will continue.
As difficult as it sounds, it is hard to start new traditions because students don’t feel the need to get involved as it isn’t a tradition. It is up to the organizer to come up with an event that students today will enjoy and want to make into an annual tradition.
Last weekend, Linfield Activities Board held a Spring Fling dance, trying to revive an old annual event. About 75 to 100 students showed up to dance the night away. With hope, it will be even more popular next year.
When the Review researched May Day last year, Dave Hansen, dean of students, said many traditions were done away in the 1960s when participating in traditional activities was unpopular because of the changing culture. We haven’t returned to the time prior.
Those in charge of campus activities should know students do want to hold on to traditional events on campus, but they should also be fun for us all today and be able to change and adapt with the times. Let’s see some new traditions on campus to make up for the icons lost this year.