How to celebrate DSU traditions during COVID-19

Brooks the Bison has played a significant role in the traditions at Dixie State University. One tradition includes rubbing the nose of Brooks in front of campus to symbolize luck throughout your time at DSU, but because of COVID-19 precautions, traditions like this one are being altered to maintain a safe environment on campus. Photo by Tianna Major.

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As the fall semester begins both new students and returning students look forward to participating in the traditions that Dixie State University offers. The fall semester brings the excitement of football games, homecoming week, the foam dance, freshmen Friday, and more. Coming together for traditions builds unity and connection for DSU students.

With social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, students are encouraged to take a flexible, creative approach to participate in the traditions and events. DSU Student Association is working to ensure that yearly events are as normal as possible while also following local guidelines. 

Student Life Coordinator Sarah Ramaker said, “When we look at planning upcoming events instead of saying ‘no we can’t do that,’ we focus on how we can do things in a different way.”

Students can also take this approach to enjoy traditions DSU has to offer. This means being flexible and creative with how they do things. Here are a few ideas to get started:

True Trailblazer

True trailblazer happens the night of the annual Halloween dance, Chaos. Students gather in and around the fountain on campus for a midnight kiss with a stranger or significant other.

Aubrey Campbell, a senior business administration major from Highland, shared her True Trailblazer experience.

“After the chaos dance, we went to the fountain and at first no one was kissing,” Campbell said. “Then my roommate and her friend, and me and my boyfriend went into the fountain and kissed. I made my boyfriend ruin his new shoes, but it was so worth it.”

Kissing a stranger during a global pandemic is less than ideal, so an alternative to this could be just enjoying the fountain with friends or kissing an existing partner in it when it’s not busy. By having a picnic near the fountain with friends, you can enjoy the tradition while still social distancing. Bring a blanket, water, food, card games and anything else you would want. This would also be a great date idea to have with a partner.

Foam Dance

The Foam dance is known as the most popular dance of the year, which is usually held during the first week of school. This event is held outside and features foam, a DJ, lights and dancing.

This school year, the dance has been moved to next semester in hopes that by April conditions will allow for less distancing. If students want to participate in this tradition early, getting together with a few friends for a pool party is a great alternative. The majority of student housing complexeson and off campushave a pool for residents to use. Bring a speaker to play music. Be sure to remember water and sunscreen while you’re outside in the sun.

Bison Statue

Brooks the Bison, DSU’S mascot, represents the trailblazing spirit that students are encouraged to have in their educational, professional and personal lives. Every year students are encouraged to rub the nose of the campus bison statue for good luck.

This year try opting for a picture or wear disposable gloves to reduce the spread of germs.

Football games

Fall at DSU means opportunities to cheer on fellow Trailblazers at football games. Home games always kick off with a tailgate party featuring free food and games. Students at the games wear coordinating colors and participate in cheers.

While football has been postponed due to COVID-19 this doesn’t mean students can’t enjoy a game day experience on their own. A great way to do this is by getting together with your roommates for a football-themed night. Wear DSU game day gear and eat traditional tailgate foods like hot dogs, burgers or pizza, and turn on a football game from the 2019 season. The YouTube page for DSU athletics has posted these football games. Have fun!

Freshman Friday

DSU’s Freshman Friday tradition happens before the semester starts and is a great introduction to campus for freshmen. Typically the tradition involves an interactive assembly for freshmen with speakers and fun games. Students also get the opportunity to touch the Bison statue’s nose for good luck.

Student Body President Penny Mills, a senior communication studies major from Orem, said, “The goal for Freshman Friday is to get freshmen familiar with campus and to make connections.”

This year, freshmen watched a video that introduced them to campus and the services.

A great way to still connect with campus and learn your way around is to make a scavenger hunt with friends. Divide into small groups and have each group make a scavenger hunt for the other group. Each group can learn about campus by participating in this activity, and is a fun activity to do with roommates!

Enjoying traditions at DSU can still be fun during difficult times when you are flexible and creative.