Columnist Ian Welfley argues that despite society's initial perceptions, hookup culture can be positive. 

Every student has a different experience and journey as they work their way through college. Although each path might be different, the end goal is the same: graduation. As the big day draws closer, many seniors find ways to celebrate and reminisce about their time spent in school. While some of these traditions are well-known and encouraged, others are discouraged but still heavily discussed on campus. 

1. Visiting your freshman dorm

Think back to the days of 1787 August Orientation when one moves into their dorm and gets their first taste of JMU. Students grow attached to their rooms, buildings and sometimes even the nicknames given to the buildings by their First Year Orientation Guide group. Many seniors like to go back, meet the new students living in their room and revisit their first room one final time.   

2. Go onto Bridgeforth Stadium field at night

Whether you’re driving down I-81 or walking across campus, it’s hard to miss Bridgeforth Stadium. Many students, like international affairs major Jack Brockmann, think about the possibility of what it would be like to be alone in the stadium at night.

“It’s always a plus if you’re able to get on the football field,” Brockmann said. “Me and my friends wanted to walk all the way to the top one night.”  

3. Take senior pictures on the Quad

As the seniors say goodbye to the years spent at JMU, they feel it’s important to commemorate their memories by capturing pictures of themselves or their friends in their caps and gowns on the Quad.

“People really like to take pictures in front of Wilson. I wish it wasn’t closed off,” senior international affairs major Vi Kotouch said. It’s a popular spot that provides an appealing aesthetic and background for a classic senior picture. Not only is the Quad an iconic spot for students to take pictures at, but it was also the location that hosted ESPN’s College Gameday in 2017 and 2015.  

4. Streak the Quad

What makes this act so enticing to students is the thrill of making it from one end of the Quad to the other without getting caught by campus police. Even though most students choose to streak the Quad at night, there’ve been a few who were courageous enough to streak during the day as students and professors walked through campus.

“Some underclassmen think this is a U. Va thing, but it’s totally a JMU thing because I’ve seen it happen myself,” graduating music major Nora Winsler said. “I was showing my friend the kissing rock and as I was telling her about people streaking, and then, this girl ran ... naked past us.”  

5. Find the tunnels under the Quad

One of the most well-known JMU legends comes from the mystery of the Quad tunnels. Many of the tunnels only have enough room to be a crawl space and can only be accessed by JMU service technicians, but many students want to explore the campus and see the tunnels for themselves. 

“It would be really cool to see them, but nobody knows where they are,” Brockmann said.   

6. Campus Crawl

Kotouch said the campus crawl is where seniors visit places on campus that are significant to them like their freshman dorm, buildings they had multiple classes in and various spots on the Quad. People can do this with groups and even go more than once. As a well-known tradition around campus, the campus crawl is a right of passage and necessary to complete before graduation.

7. Take a Quad brick

The Quad is the heart and soul of the JMU campus, and many students like to take a piece of the school with them before they leave. Winsler said there are alternative options to stealing.

“Well, of course, there’s stealing a Quad brick. You don’t have to steal it though.” Winsler said. Just yesterday, [the school] was giving out bricks so no one had to steal them. I even grabbed some for my roommates so we could decorate them.” 

Contact Devin Townsend at towns2dm@dukes.jmu.edu