Group explains the origins of BGSU’s spirited traditions

Kate Snyder and Kate Snyder

The 2007 Homecoming Student Steering Committee put on a presentation for freshmen students in the Union last night explaining the myths, legends and traditions at the University.

“Like many colleges, we have traditions at BGSU,” said senior Shane Lewis, the director of the program.

Lewis and the other members of the committee went on to explain the popular traditions, such as always walking to the right of the seal. Then they got into lesser known facts, like where the University originally got its colors.

Lewis said during the time when the president of the University and members of his staff were deciding on school colors, he was inspired by a woman wearing an orange and brown hat. The official colors became seal brown and burnt orange.

The popular unofficial fight song, “Ay Ziggy Zoomba,” was also inspired by outside influences.

“Ay Ziggy Zoomba actually isn’t native to BG at all,” Lewis said. He went on to clarify that some teams in Australia sing a similar version.

Lewis also spoke about the origins of the University’s other school spirit traditions.

SICSIC is the oldest student spirit organization on campus. Students must apply to become members of SICSIC and membership is confidential until the end of senior year. The organization hangs signs around campus, which are often taken by University students.

The committee also told students about the University’s Freddy and Frieda. Junior committee member Katrina Caldwell described the original outfit of the University’s mascot.

“It was funny because he had sweats on and a cape and a paper mache head,” she said.

When the University was first founded, they were known as the BG Normals. The falcon wasn’t adopted as the mascot until 1927.

“You want to hug Freddie and Frieda now, not run away,” Caldwell said.

Of course, the University is not without its share of ghosts. Prout Chapel used to be located at one of the corners of the union and Alice Prout, wife of one of the University Presidents, still supposedly haunts that area.

“So the Union is a little bit haunted,” Lewis said.

A ghost also haunts the theater department, and must be invited to each show by the director.

“Last time he didn’t do that,” Lewis explained, “sets crashed, actors were injured.”

Freshmen who attended the event said it was informative.

“I didn’t know about taking the posters, ’cause I’m definitely going to decorate my room with SICSIC posters,” said Amanda Dotson.

Students in the Homecoming Committee primarily focus on organizing events for Homecoming Week. While some students are required to participate in these presentations for their UNIV100 classes, the committee said they do this sort of event for fun and to help inform newcomers to the University.