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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo
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Fun traditions fuel the flame of brotherhood

Unique events unite Wengatz

When thinking about traditions, a few things that come to mind might be where you go for holidays, the one thing you do to celebrate your birthday every year or maybe even an annual family vacation. 

Hearing “Wengatz traditions,” your mind probably defines the word tradition in a different way.

From rotten fruit to simulated incrimination there is a wide range of wildness that the wings of Wengatz Hall strive to achieve. 

Starting on the first floor of Wengatz, first east is known to enact a great mock trial in the Courtroom, located in Ayres Hall. These trials typically happen once a semester depending on how many “misdemeanors” are committed around the wing. 

The last trial, which happened earlier this semester, saw the defendant charged as guilty for misuse of the dorm’s quote wall. 

In this case, the defendant took a few quotes a little too far out of context. First East took quick action in arranging a trial for this particular offender.   

“He had a defense attorney, there was a prosecution, a jury and a judge,” Jaden Mason, a sophomore film and media major from first east, said.

Not only are the defendants found guilty or innocent, but they also have punishments if they are found guilty. As a result, this perpetrator was banned from the quote wall. 

Another unique tradition in Wengatz is Techno Night, an all-campus dance event on second west. 

While a mosh pit might sound like a normal college night, second west takes it a step further to distinguish themselves from a typical dance. Wing members install black lights throughout the wing before coating their walls in laundry detergent, causing the walls to glow. 

The rowdy crowd and jumbo speakers are so loud it can often be heard from across campus. 

Tinashe Madakadze, a junior computer science major and personnel assistant (PA) of second west said, “It’s so full of energy, it brings a lot of people on campus together.” 

Moving up a floor, third center keeps the date of one of their favorite traditions under wraps in order to catch people by surprise. 

In this tradition, two men dress in full body bull costumes, while the rest of third center chases them through the majority of girls' dorms on campus. Men sing on- or off-key throughout the chase. Musicians play their instruments as loudly as possible.

But the time is always different, so no one expects it. 

Max Lambert, a sophomore business major, said, “It’s a surprise every year.” 

The bull costumes, the loud music, the frantic running through the halls and element of surprise is what makes this tradition so entertaining for third center.  

One all-Wengatz event is a film competition where each wing creates and submits their unique short film. Wengatz holds their  screening in Cornwall, where the current wing members sit beside Wengatz hall director, Jacob Gerding, and former residents of Wengatz. 

The former members of Wengatz sit as judges to choose the winner. 

Outside of former residents, however, no one else on campus is allowed to view these films.

“They’re (the videos) very fun and very fun to make. That’s probably one of my favorites (Wengatz traditions),” sophomore Jaden Mason said.

The videos give Wengatz men a chance to work toward a common goal while the creative nature of the videos gives everyone an outlet that brings the community together.

Arguably the most well-known Wengatz tradition is “melon and gourd.” Melon and gourd is a third west custom where a week-long competition breaks out. 

Students from all over campus look forward to this event each year.

The goal of this tradition is to be spared from eating a bite of a melon or gourd that has been tossed around between people for a week. The losers must take a big bite from the wilted, half rotten fruit and vegetable. 

Wengatz does not shy away from being known for their distinct traditions and culture. Events both within the dorm and across campus create a tighter knit brotherhood — brotherhood that celebrates being unique and building a creative environment that forms and cultivates strong bonds.