Baylor University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Texas, so even if it doesn't have the best athletic program around, it has a leg up on everyone in the "traditions" department.
However, traditions only stay alive if students honor them. Thus, every incoming student should practice traditions, such as...
1. The Eternal Flame: Baylor honors 10 members of the basketball team killed in a tragic bus crash in 1927 by lighting a flame at the start of homecoming and keeping it lit until the weekend passes. Freshmen have the duty of guarding the flame from upperclassmen trying to snuff it out. Like anything involving fire, responsibility and freshman, guarding the Eternal Flame often ends in someone going home with bruises or maybe someone going to the hospital.
2. The Baylor Line: While freshmen have some responsibility to carry on Baylor traditions, they also have the honor of running onto the field before every home football game. Members of the Baylor Line design custom jerseys each year -- with a unique phrase or word on the back of the jersey -- and circle the field to form a human tunnel for the football team.
3. Christmas on 5th Street: Like any good Baptist, Baylor lets everyone know how much it loves Christmas by putting decorations on 5th Street -- which runs through campus. However, with the budget of a national university, Baylor can afford things like carriage rides and big-name music stars, such as Matt Wertz and Phil Wickham in 2010.
4. Dr. Pepper Hour: Handing out Dr. Pepper to students might seem like an event that blurs the line between advertising and tradition, but Dr. Pepper Hour is probably one of my more favorite parts of Baylor culture. Every Tuesday, students gather at the Student Union building to sip Dr. Pepper -- brewed in Waco -- and socialize with other students.
5. Bed Races: The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity arms students with hospital beds rigged with wheels, and pits students against each other -- this can be fraternal organizations, sororities or even people dressed in silly costumes -- in a race down 5th Street. Once students finish a bed race, they can saunter over to a chili cook-off hosted by the Chi Omega sorority.
6. Late Night: One of the newer Baylor traditions, the university hosts a gathering in the McClane Student Life Center at the start of every fall semester for students to meet campus organization leaders and find ways to get involved with Baylor. Students will also find games, prizes, and entertainment during Late Night.
7. Diadeloso: Baylor grants students a reprieve from classes every April since 1934 in the form of Diadeloso, or "day of the bear" in Spanish. Common events include comedians, camel rides, and a giant party on 10th Street that usually that gets out of hand.
8. All-University Sing: Even a large university like Baylor realizes that students need to cut loose and put on a theatrical performance every now and then. Each year, Baylor hosts "SING," a Broadway-style show performed by student organizations, such as fraternities and honor societies.
9. Live bears: Baylor has had live bears on campus since the 107th Engineer Battalion brought a bear to campus in 1917 and left it there when the Battalion went off to fight World War I.
10. The Noze Brotherhood: A secret organization exists on campus called the Noze Brotherhood, which, as the name suggests, requires members to conceal their identity by wearing a Groucho Marx-style fake nose and beard. Many of the Noze traditions remain a secret today, but the Noze has a permanent on-campus presence with its satirical periodical called "The Rope." Some honorary Noze brothers include George W. Bush and Bill Cosby.I am a former Baylor student and fervent supporter of Baylor athletics.
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