Instead of the annual Tiger Burn that takes place every year before USC’s rivalry game with Clemson, this year there was a design contest in which the winner will get their design built, and subsequently burnt to the ground, next year.
Sagar Soni is a third-year mechanical engineering student who worked on the tiger last year and plans on submitting a design this year against many individuals with artistic majors.
"When I think of a tiger, I just want it to be really big, and I just want something that's gonna burn easy. And there’s a lot of creative students out there that can probably do something better than I can, but I don’t see the harm in giving it a shot,” Soni said.
USC’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers, also known as ASME, which usually builds the tiger, made the contest available for all students, faculty and staff. The deadline for submissions in the contest was Oct. 31.
“The absence of the tiger is a bummer, needless to say, but I think this is a really creative way to put a positive spin on the situation," said Courtney Buzan, the assistant director for campus programs. "So, it’s kind of a really cool victory to have at the end of all this."
Third-year mechanical engineering student Kyle Doyle said he felt like a lot of the hard work done by the engineering students is lost by not having a Tiger Burn.
“Obviously it’s extremely fun, we all have a really good time, we get to grow closer as a club and as a student organization, but also you don’t get that hard work to pay off. You can design it ... and it’s cool and fun when you get to design it, but you want to see it in person, in its fullness, you know, really come to life,” Doyle said.
O’Dhori Prioleau is the president of ASME and will be judging the design contest this year as a fourth-year mechanical engineering student. Prioleau was involved in the planning of Tiger Burn last year and led the design contest this year.
“We were trying to figure out ways we could still celebrate the tradition," Prioleau said. "We kind of got more excitement from this since this is kind of like a new thing that we’re doing."
The winner of the Tiger Burn Design Contest will be announced by Nov. 17.
“It's not like hands-on or anything. It's a lot of us just sitting back and watching the submissions come in,” Prioleau said.
Joey Salata is the vice president of ASME and a third-year mechanical engineering student who said he's excited about continuing the tradition.
“Hopefully, we’ll actually get to continue the tradition of building and burning it in person next year. However, I think this competition that we’re having this year is a really good opportunity for the students involved to kind of do something but still be able to do it at home and still feel included in the club,” Salata said.