Olivia: At Trinity, there is a large stone plaque on the sidewalk that boarders the main quad area. Since students must walk over the plaque during the graduation ceremony in their caps and gowns, it is said that you walk on the plaque before that day, you won’t graduate within 4 years time.
Isabel: And everyone at Trinity knows of this superstition?
Olivia: Yep. I forget where I learned it but it kind of just came to be known sometime along my freshman year.
Isabel: What do you think the purpose of this folklore was?
Olivia: Ummm Well, I think it sort of gave us a sense of community. It was something fun to know not to do. It also fostered school spirit and a sense of belonging by being in the know I guess.
This tradition has many oicotypes nationally and internationally within the university context. University superstitions not only add to a schools character, but also unite its students through belief and practice. The knowledge of the superstition becomes a way to identify true members of the group. Additionally, as Olivia stated, the ritual in practicing the superstition provides a sense of spirit. A Trinity student can only walk over the plaque when he/she has graduated and thus, the performance of walking over the plaque also becomes a celebration of degree completion.