The informant shared this information at my request. They shared this with me when I asked if their college, UCLA, had anything superstitions and such.
The informant said that before someone starts their first year at UCLA, they have to touch this inverted fountain to get “bruinitized.” They’ll also have to touch it one more time after they graduate; however, if they touch it before, the superstition goes that they’ll stay an extra quarter. The informant also mentions that incoming students were told to do this at orientation.
Most colleges have their own folklore. This follows the general pattern of a few I have heard before, where there is a threat of being held back. This also fits another pattern college folklore tend to have, where first-years may have to go through a ritual of sorts before they are considered a “full” Bruin for example. The fact that this was something new students were pushed to do at orientation also supports the idea that these rituals are there to help newcomers feel included.