An introductory guide to school traditions

Graphic by Joshua Awolade
Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Starting university can be tough. The classes and work load are more challenging than high school and you are living on your own for the first time. However, Wilfrid Laurier University is more than just academics; it’s an experience.

Getting familiar with the campus you will be on every day for the next four years is crucial, but can be a tad intimidating. In order to be extremely successful here, you’ve got to know the lay of the land and of course, our traditions.

Traditions are all a part of the Laurier experience. Some are superstitious, some are silly and some can actually help you navigate your way through our beloved WLU. Take a look below for some of our more cherished traditions.

Don’t walk on the Hawk
This is a big one and perhaps our silliest tradition, but it is as important as they come. Dead in the centre of the hallway in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre, engraved right into the tile, is our cherished “hawk.” It is our new golden hawk logo encircled by the words “Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union” all in a dazzling gold. The tradition here is to not step on it. The hallway is central to movement around campus and it gets fairly crowded during rush hours.

People will be leaning on each other, fighting for space to walk around the contours of the emblem even at the most packed walking times. You would be hard pressed to find someone who would deliberately stomp their kicks all over it. Some even take it as far as kissing it good luck before writing a midterm, but that is up to you.

Silent Seven
This tradition is much more helpful for those coming into first year. It is not so much a tradition as it is a good heads up. Our library has seven different floors all of which get quieter as you go up. Ipso facto, the seventh floor is the absolute quietest. If you chew boisterously, breathe heavily or even think to yourself too loud, you will be asked to leave. You could literally hear a pin drop. On the other hand, it gets louder as the floors move down so if you’re a big talker or more of a group-work person, the second or third floor is probably more your speed. It is a tradition that all students follow literally to a tee and can really help both your academics and your journey to Laurier integration.

Dressing up Wilf
This tradition is sillier than anything, but a tradition nonetheless. As you pass the quad on your way up to the FNCC, you will undoubtedly see a statue of our beloved Wilfrid Laurier. He is sitting down on a beautiful bronze bench with his legs crossed and with noticeable prestige. Even though he is permanently sculpted in his early 1900s outfit, when a special event comes around on campus, he gets a little makeover. It is a newly established tradition to dress up Sir Wilfrid for whichever holiday, event or celebration we have coming up. Some examples are fully green and shamrock-drenched gear on Saint Patrick’s Day, all purple and gold for Homecoming and even a Santa hat for Christmas. Make sure to get on dressing him up early because there are plenty of students looking to deck out Wilf.

Saint Patrick’s Day on Ezra

This one has been emotionally, physically and spiritually adopted by all Laurier students. On St. Patrick’s Day every single year, students from all walks of Laurier flock to Ezra Avenue in order to celebrate one of the grandest days of the year. We are not sure how it got started or why, but we do know that it is one darn good time. Every inch of Ezra is packed with students all draped up green gear. It is almost a rite of passage to at least go to Ezra once on Saint Patty’s during your four years here. Odds are though, you will go every year.

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