Jul 2, 2009

Go F[urman] U[niversity]!

No, I am not kidding. And please don’t take offense. A quick check with one of South Carolina’s finest universities, and you will find that the Furman Paladins are routinely supported by fans enthusiastically chanting, “Go F[urman] U[niversity]!" Now this may have something to do with the obscure nature of the Furman mascot or team name. Evidently Paladins, sometimes known as the 12 peers (!), were warriors in Charlemagne’s court. Who knew? All I can think is that some history professor must have had a hand in selecting the name that our friends at the SSUR say has been in place at this lovely southern school since 1826. But did he have to go so far back in time? Or be so obtuse?

When signing up for four (or maybe five or six) years of post-secondary education, the average high school student usually takes little note of what he or she will be chanting at sporting events or other university-wide competitions. The era of, “Rah, Rah, Rah, Siss, Boom, Bah” (allegedly pioneered by Princeton in the 1880’s) is so over. Now we have “Och Tamale!” (University of Redlands), “Hook ‘Em Horns!” (University of Texas), “Give ‘Em Shell!” (University of Maryland), “Geaux Cajuns!” (University of Louisiana), and the mysterious UVA chant, “Wahoo Wah!” (on special occasions involving the University of North Carolina the Cavaliers are known to shout, “That ain’t tar on those heels!”).

Working with a local high school, I contacted several colleges and constructed a matching game for juniors designed to introduce them to various schools through chants and yells. The activity is effective insofar as the game encourages students to consider colleges or universities by viewing them through the lens of a simple cheer. BTW, unless you happen to be in the business, the game isn’t all that easy. If you would like to give it a try, contact me at Nancy@CollegeExplorations.com. In the meantime, I leave it to you to guess which schools cheer, “Hoya Saxa,” “Go Ephs,” or “Cosine, secant, tangent, sine; three point one four one five nine.”

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