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Santa Barbara: Traditions

Traditions at Santa Barbara, many of which were begun in the 1920's, helped to preserve the warm and friendly atmosphere of the campus and built closer relationships between faculty and students.

Awards Banquet
Each spring, a number of outstanding students were honored at an awards banquet. A man and woman student who maintained good scholastic standing and contributed four years of service and leadership to the University were presented an honor copy of La Cumbre, the yearbook. The Associated Women and Men Students organizations presented an award to an outstanding woman and man. Students who rendered superior service to the Associated Students were presented honor keys. Members of the student legislative council who contributed to the work of that body were presented with Associated Students President Awards. Awards were also given to outstanding graduates of each academic department.

Chancellor's Tea
Each fall, the Santa Barbara chancellor held a welcome tea for new students and their parents. Vice-chancellors and deans also attended and joined the receiving line.

Frosh Camp
Frosh Camp was a traditional part of the fall semester orientation week and consisted of a three-day residence program on campus for new students. For a fee, new students were provided room and board in residence halls. Sponsored and directed by the Associated Students, the camp provided three days of informational, recreational, and social activities. Student counselors and faculty members guided small discussion groups on such topics as the grading system, courses offered, student activities program, athletics, scholarships, and loans. In addition, there were organized and informal social and recreational opportunities, including campfires, dances, group singing, and beach games.

Frosh Traditions
Members of the freshman class were required to memorize the Frosh Bible. Any freshman student who did not wear the Frosh Beanie or who could not demonstrate his study of the bible to the satisfaction of members of Squires, the sophomore men's honorary society, was "branded" by having green X's rubber-stamped on his forehead. Delinquent freshmen could be tried and sentenced at the Frosh Tribunal. Frosh celebrated the end of registration week by burning their bibles in the traditional Frosh Bonfire. Members of the class wore their green beanies until the first touchdown of the fall football season.

Homecoming Week
Homecoming Week activities at Santa Barbara occurred at the end of October or the beginning of November were held in connection with a regularly scheduled football game which was designated as the Homecoming Game. There was no traditional rival, since homecoming and football schedules changed from year to year.

The weekend's events were supervised by a Special Events Committee of the Associated Students. The Galloping Gaucho Revue ran Wednesday through Friday nights before Homecoming Weekend. The revue, like Berkeley's Big Came Axe Revue, was a variety show in which living groups competed and was open to students, alumni, and the general public.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the float parade held on Saturday morning. Living groups created elaborate and colorful floats for the parade down Santa Barbara's main street. The Santa Barbara Marching Band and other community hand and marching units also participated in the parade. The parade's Grand Marshal was chosen from the alumni by the Special Events Committee. On the Saturday evening following the football game, a dance for students and alumni was held, during which the Homecoming Queen was crowned and presented with the Donna Lorden Memorial Trophy, which was presented to the Associated Students by alumnus Robert Lorden in memory of his wife. Traditionally, the fraternities and sororities at Santa Barbara held breakfasts for their alumni on the Sunday morning of the weekend.

Pushcart Races
Pushcart Races, sponsored by the Residence Halls Association, began in 1960. The race course was on the Santa Barbara campus and later the races were held on the parking lots. The event began with a push cart parade for which the carts were decorated, then the decorations were stripped away and the race began.

Recreation Night
Nearly every week during the school year, recreation nights were held to give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to participate in sports. Scheduled programs included everything from badminton to square dancing and volleyball.

Road Runner Revue
Road Runner Revue began in spring, 1932 as a one-cast show which consisted entirely of original music and skits. Discontinued in 1953, the revue was revived in 1960 by Hal Brendel and members of the Santa Barbara Marching Band. The revue was open to all students and cast positions were obtained by audition. The show consisted of partially original and partially copy-written music centered on a theme chosen for each show.

Spring Sing
Spring Sing began in 1949 as the Greek Sing and soon expanded to include all living groups. Twenty to 30 groups participated each year in both mixed and single divisions, competitive and non-competitive. Winners of each division were awarded trophies, with an additional trophy awarded to the sweepstakes winner.

In keeping with the predominantly Spanish atmosphere of Santa Barbara, the totem of Santa Barbara was changed in 1934 from the Roadrunner to the Gaucho.


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Last updated 06/18/04.