Editorial: Make new traditions, but keep the old

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Come mid-November, Le-Laf banners cover campus grounds, bringing currency and humor to the 155th Rivalry game.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to Lafayette, you may be entitled to financial compensation. 1-800-BEAT-LAF. 

Laf failed the vibe check. 

Laf wrote season eight. 

As the tradition ages, banner ideas may no longer resonate with alumni, but on Saturday, all of Lehigh’s family gathers to support the team for the 155th Rivalry football game. 

Falling right before Thanksgiving and winter breaks, the Lehigh-Lafayette game reunites the students, past and present, in a memorable tradition during and after our college experience. Regardless of how students and alumni celebrate the ten days of Le-Laf, the Rivalry reminds us of the importance of tradition. 

As the university develops, many alumni and current students notice more changes now than ever. New buildings, faculty and university expansion goals are rapidly modernizing Lehigh. While these changes are beneficial to the university, the Rivalry is a tradition that has remained untouched. 

From the oldest alumni to the class of 2023, the Le-Laf game is a defining memory for all of the Lehigh community. 

Traditions, such as bed races, the bonfire and the Marching 97’s “Eco Flame,” arrive with great anticipation for the special time of year. Before students prepare to head home to their families, they get to experience the rivalry that brings us together. 

Since 1884, the student body has spent the days leading up to the game developing traditions and amplifying school spirit. 

The Turkey Trot, pep rally and storming the fields are traditions that seem to last throughout the years. As the university undergoes changes and the student body grows, some of the earliest traditions are no longer quite as prevalent on campus. Comparing the Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry Week now to what it was for alumni is a way to connect as a Lehigh family, regardless of inevitable changes. 

One of the traditions that is no longer practiced is tearing down the goal post after a Lehigh victory. According to The Brown and White’s article, this tradition has died down due to the potential violence of the act. 

Bed races, one of the Rivalry’s oldest traditions, has developed over time. Originally, bed races took place on the hill, starting at the fraternity houses and ending at the Taylor House dorm. With an increased prioritization of safety, bed races have since been moved to the front lawn, but the objective remains the same. The student body gathers, just two days before the game, to show Lehigh’s unmatched school spirit. 

As the university expands, admitting more students and attempting to further its influence on the world, the Lehigh community will continue to grow with the rivalry tradition as an integral part of the Lehigh experience.

The Lehigh experience may change, but our roots continue to grow in the traditions and fundamental values that will never change. For returning alumni, current students are the face of today’s Lehigh experience.

As we welcome the alumni back to campus, it is important to fully experience all of the traditions that bridge the old Lehigh with the new.  

Come Saturday, all generations of Lehigh’s family will meet at Goodman Stadium to cheer on the Mountain Hawks, reminisce on traditions and celebrate the university’s growth.

As current Lehigh students celebrate with friends, it is important to recognize members of the Lehigh community that came before us and welcome them to the Lehigh we are proud to know today. 

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1 Comment

  1. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    “As the tradition ages, banner ideas may no longer resonate with alumni, but on Saturday, all of Lehigh’s family gathers to support the team for the 155th year in a row.” “Since 1884, the student body has spent the days leading up to the game developing traditions and amplifying school spirit.” 1884 plus 155 equals 2039 not 2019. Of course many alumni know that in several years Lehigh had two opportunities to BEAT LAFAYETTE.

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