Building Campus Traditions

Editor’s note: During the summer, New College News will feature selected student blogs that focus on the New College experience.

By Kallie Delis

Students take part in a Zombies game at New College.
Students take part in a Zombies game, played during Halloween at New College.

New College has traditions – campuswide parties three times a year (nowadays termed as a COUP – Center Of the Universe Party), watching the sun set at College Hall, playing a survivalist game of zombies versus humans around Halloween time, Commencement at the bay, etc.

There are quite a few traditions on this campus, though they are tough to establish sometimes. It is something that we in the Housing office are trying hard to counteract.

We have taken on some of the responsibility for establishing new traditions. We’re planning some events we hope will become traditions, like the Back to School Bash Sept. 6, and the Downtown Get Down Sept. 20, a party in downtown Sarasota involving nearby schools including the Ringling School of Art and Design, the Ringling Museum, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and State College of Florida.

Resident advisors are trying to instill a sense of ownership, tradition, and entertainment in the campus culture. New College needs anchor events that students know will happen every year. That is one of the parts of our growth and retention plan, which we hope will positively affect current students as well as new students.

Already, there are a couple of events that we have come to expect each year: Newstock, New Prom, the Talent Show, etc. Among those, I have been trying to establish Star Wars Day celebrations as a tradition for three years now.

There is always a fear that the event might discontinue after you, the creator of it, leave the school. Continuity and consistency are important to have, and that can be achieved by planning ahead and making events like these staples on this campus. You can’t let the fear of the event not being successful keep you from trying in the first place!

These traditions are a great way for people to have a sense of community while at New College. Campus traditions show us what our campus has to offer, events about our college experience that are special and personalized. And the more these traditions are motivated by student interest and involvement, the more successful and stable they will become.

— Kallie Delis is an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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