10 Strange University Traditions

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While nothing compares to the pressures of having a real job, life at collegis extremely stressful. So it should be no surprise that our parents and grandparents spent much of their university lives blowing off steam and hiding from work.

The need for a pressure valve and the fact that students have far too much free time has meant that British and US universities have evolved numerous customs and rituals over the centuries to help their members remain sane and encourage bonding with their classmates.

10. Hacks And Rats MIT

The brainy and technically gifted students of MIT are notorious for carrying out elaborate practical jokes on campus known as “hacks.” Notable hacks included replacing the MIT home page with a message stating that the university had been purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1998, charging long-distance phone calls to a local radar installation in the 1960s, and causing a large black weather balloon to appear during the middle of a Harvard-Yale football game in 1982.

In particular, students seem to relish the challenge of moving bizarre objects on top of the university’s Great Dome. Notable installations have included a replica of the Wright brothers’ plane, a life-size fiberglass cow, and the Triforce symbol from The Legend of Zelda series.[1]

Another tradition at MIT is the unusual name given to the college’s “Standard Technology Ring.” In 1929, a student committee of sophomores met to agree to the design of their class ring. They decided that it should be engraved with a depiction of the North American beaver to reflect the industrious and practical nature of MIT graduates.

Supposedly, the artistic efforts of the design team looked more like another kind of rodent, hence the name given by generations of alumni to their precious rings—the Brass Rat.

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