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Traditions of PSU passed down from prior years

Pittsburg State University has many traditions on campus. The first tradition that new students are typically introduced to is the ringing of the bell. The bell, located outside of the Axe Library, signifies the start and finish of a student’s academic career at Pitt State. When students begin school, they will be given the opportunity before classes begin to ring the bell and will have the opportunity to do it again after graduating.  

“Incoming freshman should know that Homecoming week is one of the most fun weeks of the year and they should do their best to make the most of it,” said Logan Carter, junior in marketing and management and homecoming steering chair. “There are plenty of events where they can meet new friends. They are going to school and should have a lot of fun doing it…”  

When it comes to homecoming, Pitt State has a multitude of traditions.  

“Student Organization members can compete in raft races, Yell Like Hell.., and door decorating,” Carter said. “Individual students can also sign up for door decorating and win prize money or showcase their cutest Pitt State pets on Instagram. All students are welcome at all Homecoming events and we hope to see everyone at events like Homecoming Kickoff which will feature axe throwing, build-a-gorilla, yard games, food, and prizes,” Carter said. 

Pitt State holds a homecoming parade every year spanning the length of downtown Pittsburg on Broadway. The homecoming king and queen candidates are included in this parade among clubs and organizations. The crowning of the homecoming king and queen is another tradition. The Yell Like Hell tradition is one of PSU’s oldest. It’s a pep rally the week before homecoming. In this event, campus organizations perform in the dance competition for a chance to win in each size category. 

“The tradition of Yell Like Hell started over 40 years ago, around 1975, as an effort to increase school spirit,” Carter said. “The event was a huge success and the students had so much fun they continued it the next year and it has grown into the event we still love today.”  

Some of the events only require that students show up, but others require students to be an active member of a participating organization.  

“To get involved in some events like Homecoming Kickoff or the Movie Night, it is as easy as just showing up,” Carter said. “Individual students can sign up to participate in Door Decorating on Gorilla Engage, however, some events like Yell Like Hell, (the) parade, and raft races, you need to be a part of an organization, so it is not a bad idea to look into the many different organizations Pitt State has to offer and possibly join one.”  

Another tradition involves the notorious split-face gorilla in the Oval. Legend has it if a student steps on the split-face they will not graduate. There are various ways to bypass this if the accident does occur. A quick ask of students around campus will give a variety of answers. The majority of these include running to a gorilla statue within a certain amount of time and rubbing its belly, or something else.  

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