UC Merced, The Gina

Superstition, Tradition, Ritual


Primary Language- English

Secondary Language- Spanish

Occupation- UC Merced Student

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 4/23/16

At our school in UC Merced, California, we have a tradition where we have a cave that is called The Gina. In The Gina, freshman are supposed to walk through it to receive good luck. The tradition does not end there. Once we walk through The Gina, we have to attend the ascend where we all go to a field, have a balloon parade where they are let go to the sky and have time to meet new freshman on campus. Once we complete the entire ritual, the good luck will set in and increase our chances to receive higher grades.

Lucy is from Los ANgeles, California but currently resides in UC Merced which is still in California but different from Los Angeles because of the community. She learned this tradition because her school practically enforced it upon the students. Every freshman student had to attend this ritual where they walk through the The Gina and then attend the ascend. The tradition is special to her because it gave her the chance to make great friends at the school. She herself thought the tradition was silly but it is what makes her a unique bobcat, which is a mascot of UC Merced.

During the ritual of The Gina, you are supposed to walk through a cave, attend an ascend, make good friends, and bam, you instantly receive good luck. You of course have to attend the school. Lucy has lived through and told quite a few people of the ritual that she performed.

I think that school traditions are great. It shows us that it isn’t just USC that has rituals and traditions like kicking the pole before a football game. Other schools like UC Merced have traditions they almost force upon the students. It may sound a little cynical but it a fantastic way to integrate the new students into the community in order for them to fit in well. This tradition can improve morale, performance, and feelings for the school. Traditions at school can display their values. While some schools have delved into traditions with athletics, other schools like UC Merced have become embedded in a tradition that represents their desire for thier students to become a close community and believe in themselves. I also have other friends who attend the same school and had the same experience. The Gina is a unique location for all UC Merced students to embody and cherish.