McLaughlin: Importance of New Traditions

Curran Mclaughlin

On April 17th, Iowa State’s Freshman Council tried their hand at establishing a new tradition when they hosted the first annual Volleybrawl tournament.  Volleybrawl is the equivalent of playing beach volleyball but with a comically oversized ball roughly 3 feet in diameter.

All proceeds made from team registrations was given to the non profit organization Youth and Shelter Services.

Even though Volleybrawl had some stumblings, the Freshman Council was certainly stepping in the right direction.

Iowa State has had many great traditions past and present, but there is always room for new and improved traditions. Iowa State is our home during the Fall, Winter and Spring, traditions are an important part of our schools history. Many students look forward to these cherished events, and are kept alive by stories and myths about the tradition.

What happens when traditions fade away? Even worse, what happens when traditions have to be cancelled?

We are faced with this possibility in the aftermath of the recent Veishea riot. So what is there to do if one of Iowa State’s oldest traditions gets torn down?

We rebuild and form new traditions to take it’s place. Which is what creating events like Volleybrawl, whether this being intentional or not, is taking steps towards filling in blanks that are left behind by past traditions.

“Certainly traditions are to be respected. It’s a nod to our roots.” Said Brian Garrido, a sophomore in philosophy and president of Freshman Council. “The importance of creating new traditions cannot be understated. Traditions all have their root, and [it’s] having the initiative and the foresight to say this is something we can establish as being part of the fabric of Iowa State University.”

It’s perfectly alright to let traditions fade out. Iowa State has many traditions that are no longer celebrated for various reasons. From time to time the university has to reflect upon the current upstanding traditions and remove the traditions that are unnecessary and outdated. These tradition that no longer have a place at Iowa State are thrown out to make way for new traditions.

In Veishea’s case it may be time to reflect upon what the perceived meaning of the weeklong event. The possibility of permanent cancellation is all too real when considering that the week of Veishea is synonymous with the word riot at this point.

Creating new traditions won’t be easy either. Volleybrawl’s poor turnout is certainly an example of the trial and error it’s going to take to get things just right and establish a new tradition to be celebrated for years to come.

Garrido talks about the difficulties in setting up the event and factors that played into the less than favorable outcome. He acknowledges the poor timing of the dates that the event was slated for, being the fashion show earlier that month and it being easter weekend and understanding that many students may still feel the effect of Veishea cancellation, but ultimately accepts some of the failures on the Freshman Council’s part.

“We really got on the planning phase really late, when we were looking to reserve a space it was already January [and we] were stuck with two really unfortunate days.” Said Garrido, “and it’s a first time event, so you’re kind of taking the word of this organization that it’s going to be fun.”

Garrido stays optimistic about the event hoping that the teams who participate will spread the word around and talking about possibilities of hosting a tournament during Homecoming week along with other possibilities.

New events will take time to catch on. It just takes perseverance, determination and teamwork to keep it alive. New events don’t have to made entirely from scratch either. Garrido told that he would like to see many events that make up Veishea, especially the events ran by students, to be placed into a mirror of Veishea that could give students the power to represent their school.

Not every idea that ambitious young students will have will make the cut, but that’s what’s great about making new traditions. There are so many opportunities that lie in front of us a student body that failure doesn’t exactly mean we’ve lost. A failed attempt is just another learning experience to take and apply to the next attempt.

“You miss all the shots you don’t take.” Said Garrido.