The fastest four years: GU traditions you don't want to miss

Students run to receive their tenting numbers.

If you have ever watched “The Office,” then you are probably familiar with Andy Bernard’s quote in the series finale. Let me rephrase that, if you have ever watched “The Office” as religiously as I have and your brain is a vault of show references, then you are probably familiar with this quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” There are experiences at Gonzaga that are designated “good old days” moments. This is your guide to those moments and experiences:


This tradition needed to be first on the list. There is a reason why this event is televised and recognizable by anyone that knows anything about GU.  Tenting is hosted about three or four times per basketball season. It begins early in the week with what can only be designated as “the running.” Everyone participating runs to a secret location on campus that is disclosed via Twitter at exactly noon. The first one to arrive gets a bright, shiny number one, indicating that they are the superior fan of the game. They are the coveted “Tent #1.” The night before the game is when Tent City takes shape. Over 100 tents are set up and one member of each tenting group must be in the tent at all times for the next 24 hours. The smaller details are what really make the experience: the chance to get on TV, hanging with the basketball team, breakfast burritos and coffee provided in the morning, and in the end, the best game you’ll experience all season. Tenting is a GU must.

Riding the Sketchivator  

Though not as eventful, and frankly not as exhausting, as Tent City, riding the Sketchivator is the next GU tradition. The Sketchivator is an old, cage-style elevator at the far end of College Hall. A few things make it a noteworthy tradition. The first is the prominent fear you feel stepping into it. It’s small. Really small. About 3 feet by 3 feet. And cramming five of your friends in it is nothing less than claustrophobic. Add that to the fact that it might break down at any moment and you have a guaranteed recipe for fun. The second thing that makes it tradition-status-worthy, is the signature wall. Due to the nature of the elevator, it stops wherever it is when you open the cage. This neat trick has led to the tradition of opening the cage halfway between floors to reveal a beautiful graffitied signature wall. Sign your name, leave your mark on GU.

Cataldo Picnic on Campus

A picnic is not exactly a noteworthy tradition, but a picnic on GU’s campus, witnessing a Spokane sunset while being fueled by the Cataldo Holy Trinity. Now that’s a tradition. Allow me to elaborate on the Cataldo Holy Trinity. Cataldo is one of two dining halls on GU’s campus. The biggest difference between the two being that Cataldo does takeout and all the food is the greasiest, heaviest, most delicious comfort food. The Holy Trinity is mac and cheese with sides of French fries and popcorn chicken. This beige, artery clogger will complete any picnic and costs you only one swipe.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of GU traditions. When you arrive on campus, you’ll hear whispers of COG salmon and Jack and Dan’s, but some traditions are better left to be discovered by you and your friends over the next four years. You’ll even make some new ones. But, no matter what you do, never forget your best and worst moments at GU are truly the good old days.

Thea Skokan is a news editor.

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