Oct 032006
Authors: Hilary Davis The Rocky Mountain Collegian

CSU doesn’t have too many traditions. Sure, people traditionally streak the Oval and we always participate in the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

Nobody ever goes to women’s basketball games, so maybe we can call that a tradition. We also have a little thing called graduation, and I’m pretty sure that’s an annual event, so I suppose it counts. And, of course, our brand new old tradition of singing “Fum’s Song,” although I’ve never actually heard “Fum’s Song” sung.

However, as a stalwart Ram, I am the proud owner of a “Fum You!” T-shirt and I vehemently protect my right to sing the song, despite not knowing how it actually goes.

But there is one tradition CSU has managed to maintain: The A. You know what I’m talking about – the giant letter “A” up on the side of the mountain that represents our proud agricultural past. Or, as I prefer to imagine it: hilAry.

There is always a lot of hoopla surrounding the A this time of year, this time of year being Homecoming, for those who have been living under a rock. Over the summer, the A gets a fresh coat of paint, and right before Homecoming, the A is lit on fire and there is a big bonfire on the West Lawn and, overall, there is just a lot of fire involved, which is swell!

Two years ago, I was involved in the Associated Students of CSU and, in my naivet/, I thought it would be a great idea to volunteer to light the A. I picked a warm sweatshirt and eagerly met my fellow students for what I was sure would be a peak moment in my college career. Participating in a long-standing (or the only long-standing) CSU tradition would be priceless! Something to remember forever!

What I actually remember is hoisting a 40-pound fire extinguisher up the back side of a mountain, which did not go well as I actually have no more upper-body strength than what is necessary for peeling the paper wrapper from a cupcake and putting it into my mouth – and that’s pushing it.

Most of that night was hazy, but I also recall running straight into the bushes, praying that my hair wouldn’t catch on fire, and being temporarily blinded by the smoke. And it’s not easy to hike back down the mountain when you can’t see, so I think I can safely say that I almost died on this fateful night. Or at least, I thought I almost died, which is practically the same thing.

Perhaps the university should reexamine its safety procedures for students who are participating in these tradition-related activities. I submit that from now on, CSU should provide post-tradition medical care.

That way, if you sprain something while streaking or get lung damage from all the Homecoming fire, at least you’ll know CSU cares about you. They should especially examine you if you lose your voice from singing “Fum’s Song” too much.

And if that happens to you, please call me when you get better and teach me the tune.

Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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