Many college students throughout campus demonstrated their Stanford satisfaction by taking part in Large Sport traditions.
Over time, Stanford has continued its many traditions main as much as the Large Sport, and the 126th Large Sport is not any completely different. Hoover Tower is lit up crimson at night time, and the fountains course with crimson water. This week, college students are experiencing a whirlwind of occasions that remember the Cardinal, which culminate in Saturday afternoon’s soccer match in opposition to the College of California, Berkeley (Cal). With rising tensions on campus amid the Israel-Gaza conflict, college students stated this yr’s traditions really feel somewhat completely different, however they’re persevering with nonetheless.
Bearial is an annual custom the place Oski the Bear, Cal’s mascot, is “executed” to suggest Stanford’s superiority.
Roger McAulay ’90, who will probably be attending the Large Sport on Saturday, stated, “The 80s had been a good time to expertise the Large Sport. The Oski captivity was within the headlines for about two years.” The custom passed off this previous Monday on Meyer Inexperienced, led by the Leland Stanford Junior College Marching Band (LSJUMB).
This yr, out of consideration of the continuing Sit-In to Cease Genocide in Palestine on the White Plaza since Oct. 20, the custom didn’t happen at its typical location of the Claw, a choice that upset some college students.
On Fizz, an nameless social media app restricted to Stanford college students, one pupil requested, “Is the bearial not coming to white plaza ;-;.” One other submit featured a photograph from final yr’s Bearial of the Claw with Oski’s head on the tip captioned, “Bear in mind this gem from final yr?”
Liam Rose ’25, a member of LSJUMB, stated, “The burial of the bear and the imagery that comes together with it could have appeared somewhat crass if it occurred proper subsequent to the demonstrations.”
Rose stated that the “vibe” of the custom remained just like earlier years, simply with a extra “somber observe” to it.
This yr, the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society will placed on their 112th “Gaieties,” the annual student-written musical manufacturing carried out throughout Large Sport week. Since 1911, “Gaieties” has celebrated campus tradition, and the plot is all the time themed round “Beat Cal!”
In accordance with their web site, Gaieties is “the alchemy of blood, sweat, tears and above all else, laughter.”
This yr, the Gaieties plot will probably be about Berkeley searching for to “exploit the resignation of Stanford’s president,” with “jaded hero Tremendous-Senior and bold, prestige-hungry Contemporary-Man” assembling a hero coalition to avoid wasting the varsity, stated Helena Vasconcelos ’25, one of many producers of Gaieties.
“College students can anticipate a satirical present poking enjoyable at Stanford’s current string of controversies, together with some memorable traditions,” Vasconcelos stated. “By means of music and mockery, Gaieties celebrates the frequent experiences, personalities and frustrations of the Stanford group to create a way of unity earlier than the Large Sport.”
Rose stated that Gaieties is his favourite Large Sport custom and that he will probably be enjoying the trumpet within the orchestra. “The entire solid, crew and orchestra is working tremendous arduous to make it an thrilling manufacturing,” he stated.
Axe Committee in White Plaza
The Stanford Axe Committee (Axe Comm) serves because the guardian of the Axe, which is the trophy of the annual Large Sport. Additionally they play a significant function at school spirit not solely on the Large Sport but additionally all through the soccer season, attending every recreation to wave flags, toss t-shirts and blow the well-known practice whistle each time Stanford scores.
For the 126th Large Sport, the Axe Comm is tenting out in White Plaza for 125 hours and blowing the practice whistle each hour.
Hayden Henry ’25, an officer of the Axe Comm, stated that he joined as a result of somebody had performed a “phenomenal job” explaining the function of the committee to him in his freshman yr.
“I used to be actually enthralled by the affect we’ve got on Stanford spirit, the affiliation we’ve got with athletics and simply with the ability to be a part of such core Stanford traditions,” Henry stated. “I feel it’s a mix of what we do, what ‘Gaieties’ does and what the band does with ‘Bearial’ that every one collectively make arguably one of many largest traditions of the yr.”
On Wednesday night time, the Axe Comm hosted the Large Sport Rally in White Plaza, a practice that encompasses a retelling of the historical past of the Axe. Additionally they acknowledge the Stanford senior soccer gamers earlier than their final Large Sport and choose the freshman dorm banner contest. The profitable dorm’s banner — Larkin’s — will probably be displayed in White Plaza for the remainder of Large Sport Week.
Sharing White Plaza
The Axe Comm’s whistle station can also be historically held at White Plaza — straight throughout the pro-Palestinian sit-in.
When requested about how the Large Sport traditions would have an effect on the sit-in, Henry stated that the political local weather provides “a extra somber observe” to issues, whether or not it’s a Large Sport custom or not.
”For this week, at the least we hope that we will provide some sense of reprieve and provides individuals one thing extra optimistic to consider and smile about,” Henry stated.
He said that the plan for the hourly whistle was communicated with the sit-in in order that they may peacefully occupy the shared house of the White Plaza.
“We all the time do our greatest, particularly at night time to ensure the whistle isn’t too loud, with sufficient advance warning throughout the day time,” Henry stated.
Yeli Ramirez ’24, a participant within the sit-in, believes that the Axe Comm’s whistles are nonetheless “somewhat extreme.”
“It rings all through the night time,” she stated. “We had been advised it could be 10% of the same old quantity. That has not been the case. It’s positively the identical quantity at night time and positively impacts the sleep of the individuals [at the sit-in].”
Ramirez urged the campus group to be aware of the sit-in: “Democracy Day was moved to Previous Union. We discovered workarounds, however this doesn’t appear to be a workaround.”
Cal vs. Stanford rivalry
On the coronary heart of Stanford’s college spirit lies the extreme rivalry of the Large Sport. This soccer rivalry originated in 1892 on San Francisco’s Haight Avenue Grounds, the place Stanford triumphed over Cal with a rating of 14-10. As we speak, each Stanford pupil eagerly waits for the arrival of the Large Sport, decked out in crimson, in hopes of seeing the Axe being introduced house.
The rivalry has been an integral a part of Stanford’s college spirit for many years. McAulay stated, “Large Sport has been the central connection to the Stanford Neighborhood for me and my associates for the final 30-plus years. I met my Golden Bear spouse on the Large Sport.”
“The tailgate stays an annual spotlight that we stay up for all year long,” McAulay stated.
Stanford soccer punter and kicker Aidan Flintoft ’27 stated, “I feel the Stanford vs. Cal rivalry is a superb competitors with a lot of historical past and it’s a privilege to be part of it. I feel it’s large for college spirit.”
He stated that the soccer crew felt good in regards to the recreation: “We’re working actually arduous as all the time and tremendous pumped for Saturday.”
Juan Hernandez ’27, a member of the Axe Comm, stated, “I really feel just like the Large Sport week is the one week of the yr the place all people can get behind a trigger, and that’s beating Cal.”
Hernandez concluded his interview with a easy assertion: “Go Stanford; beat Cal!”