The Toilet Fountain at UCLA

“I just think that there aren’t a lot of customs at UCLA. Let me think. Okay, got one, So apparently there’s this fountain called the toilet fountain. It’s like…halfway between north and south campus…Wait…you don’t know where that is. It’s called the toilet fountain because it looks like a toilet being flushed. Okay but like as a freshman, you have to touch the water in the fountain once before you start classes as a freshman. Then you have to touch it after you graduate. If you touch it anytime in between, supposedly you won’t graduate. I honestly don’t believe in that. I’ve touched it more than once.”

Context/Analysis: The informant first heard of this ritual when she entered her freshman year of college. During orientation a tour guide, who was a senior at UCLA, told them about the ritual. Then they allowed whoever wanted to, to participate in the ritual. Most did. It is probably the most well-known ritual at the UCLA campus. The informant also informed of some people who touched the fountain before their graduation and actually didn’t graduate. Because of this, she whole-heartedly believes the folk belief and refuses to touch the fountain until she graduates. This ritual is an example of a liminal, in which once you engage in the ritual, you are truly a “bruin” and have agreed to the 4-year college journey.