There are several campus traditions at the University of Central Florida (UCF) that revolve around the month of October, Homecoming month.
This year’s theme is “Call of the Castle.”
These events take place roughly a month after school starts in August each year.
In order of occurrence, there’s Spirit Splash, Tailgating, and the Homecoming game, dance, and concert. There are a few events that are unrelated to Homecoming, such as Pegasus Palooza, Movie Knight, the Black & Gold Gala, Comedy Knight, and a golf tournament, which take place every year.
That’s a total of six official traditions that UCF reinforces on a yearly basis. Pegasus Palooza is the only current event that takes place off campus.
Hosted by the Office of First Year Experience, the last Pegasus Palooza took place at LakeClaire and was directed by Christian Hernandez.
Ashley Jaramillo of the Student Government Association (SGA) takes care of the school’s Tailgating event.
The “Orlando Sentinel” voted UCF’s annual Spirit Splash tradition as the number one campus event for 2012.
Jason Avola organizes Spirit Splash, which started in 1995, after the president of SGA ended up in the Reflection Pond as a result of a prank his club members pulled on him.
Every year since, a week before Homecoming, students play in the gigantic-sized water fountain in the name of tradition.
This year’s director of Homecoming, Aryn Gallaher said her favorite school custom is “definitely Homecoming, but I also really like Knights On.”
Knights On is an event that takes a philanthropic approach to community involvement. Ever spring semester students gather to “stand for children who can’t.”
This includes standing for 16 hours straight.
“It’s really cool to see all the passion they put into it and to see their hard work pay off,” Gallaher.
Commonly overlooked are the urban legends in circulation that pique the interest of college students throughout the country.
A student who wishes to remain anonymous said that he heard that a freshman would be doomed to “fail out” if he or she were to step on the Pegasus-shaped tile arrangement in the center of the floor of the Student Union.
The students of this sports-centric school might also be borrowing game day superstitions from outside of the community.
Brian Stubits of CBS Sports, in May, wrote that the New York Islanders hockey team takes holds the tradition that players grow their beards during playoffs.
Once established, campus traditions have evolved over the years.
From 1992 to 2007, students have met in downtown Orlando to take part in the Homecoming parade.
Kevin Smith, the running back for the UCF Knights football team, led the orchestration down the streets on campus, then ultimately into the Bright House Networks stadium, in 2011.
The parade used to be a big hit, but students will be notified as to whether it’s canceled this year or not.(Also published in the “Central Florida Future.”)