Traditions are needed at USC because they bring our school community together with all past and present Gamecocks.
One of the great perks of being a student at USC is that we are in the SEC. There is nothing quite like a Saturday in Columbia. Nearly every student shows off their school pride, proudly wearing garnet and black and ready to cheer on our team.
We all know that game day isn't game day without Sandstorm. The tradition was founded in 2009 when the Gamecocks were on the verge of upsetting No. 4 Ole Miss. Ever since then Sandstorm has become a staple at each home game.
As the anthem of our team blares out in Williams-Brice Stadium, the energy from each and every Gamecock fan is enthusiastic and electric. Being in that stadium and cheering together is the glue that binds all Gamecock fans together.
Even our own head football coach Shane Beamer can feel the energy of all of the fans when Sandstorm is played.
“I’m pretty locked in on the game," Beamer told ESPN. "But I certainly remember thinking that was different, and was obviously blown away by the intensity of it."
Game days are one of our key traditions, but there are so many other special opportunities on campus that give all USC students a shared experience they can reflect and remember forever.
Tiger Burn, the annual pep rally, is held every year to symbolize the burning rivalry us Gamecocks have with the Clemson Tigers. The tiger is designed and built by USC's American Society of Mechanical Engineers student chapter.
Participating in events such as game days and Tiger Burn keeps the spirit of our university alive. Through these experiences, the whole campus can join and share in something as simple as our never-ending rivalry with Clemson.
Even faculty members are bound together by the tradition that floods our campus. Each person that is a part of the Carolina community knows how these traditions are able to bring together our school community as a whole and have experienced them first-hand.
“I truly believe we are a product of our experiences, whether good, bad or indifferent,” Susan Bernath, the residence life coordinator at Capstone House, said.
Bernath said traditions on campus are special because you might not remember other things, such as assignments, but you will always remember how you feel during your first football game or at First Night Carolina.
Even places on campus are a tradition within themselves. For example, the Horseshoe is a place where all students can gather and be together. So many great events take place on the Horseshoe; people get married there to celebrate the place that sparked the love between them. Our campus is there to bring all members of the Carolina community together and to be a common space to spend time with other students.
All of the traditions we have on campus are not just to celebrate the history of our great university, but to make this big place feel like home. Our traditions unite all Gamecocks through the experiences we share during our time at Carolina.