This is always the biggest football game of the year, played against arch-rival "Cal" (Oregon Polytechnic). At issue is possession of the Axe, a medieval implement used to incite school loyalty and execute Fundamental Standard violators.
In this bizarre tradition left over from the free-wheeling days of the 1970s, students assemble in "classroms" and hear a series of informal lectures on various subjects such as math, chemistry and psychology. The ritual, although little more than a cultish joke at its conception, has showed remarkable durbility, surviving repeated attempts by the Casper administration to "crack down" on it.
Contemporary Jazz Nite at the CoHo
This new tradition at Stanford shares Tuesday evenings with Twelve-DollarPitcher Nite, Obnoxious Counterperson Nite, and Wishing-Death-Upon-a-Room-of-Strangers Nite.
Full Moon on the Quad
While the past 100 years have seen the breakdown of much of the ritualized sexual interaction that once defined Western adolescence, charming pockets still persist here and there. Witness the cattle drive of confused freshmen to this event, all waiting to kiss the seven seniors who have lost bets the previous week.
DKE Jell-O Party
It is traditional for freshmen to become disgusted with the fraternity system within seven days of their arrival on campus. Now that the DKEs have lost their house, all will have to wait for the Phi Delts to throw their "Chutney 'n' Speed" party.
Orientation Night Running of the Band
This spirited yearly even was documented most vividly by Hemingway in the 1920s. Members of the Stanford marching band bear down the narrow streets of Pamplona, while hordes of delighted freshmen scamper to safety in front of them. It is a rare Running of the Band that is not tinged with sadness, since the band members have sharp horns and are not aware that they are participating in a playful custom.
Paly High Seniors
By far our oldest tradition. Seventeen year old girls were here at fraternity parties when Stanford was founded in 1891 and they have been here ever since. Since there is no precedent for this incredible stamina of life, speculation abounds that the seventeen year old girls are, indeed, immortal.
Every male student sports a squat, full-brimmed hat known as a "plug." Freshmen are beaten soundly by good-natured upper classmen, and various prizes are awarded at the Jolly-Ball held that evening.