St. Patty's Day and Alice

For everyone out there that is not familiar with UMR, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I’m not talking just wearing green. Because St. Patrick was proclaimed the patron saint of engineering, (he got rid of all the snakes, right?) we celebrate religiously. Greeks make shillelaghs (shel-laye-lee) and cudgels out of large trees to beat plastic snakes to pulp. Then they bite off the plastic heads while yelling "blood! blood! blood!" in the middle of campus. Classes are cancelled Thursday and Friday because most of the students and faculty are too hammered to function. We have an hour long parade down green painted city streets, and a coronation ceremony for the St. Pat’s court.

Last but not least, we have Alice.

Alice is a vat of excrement, road kill, and waste left to sit and ferment before the coronation ceremony. When the St. Pat’s court is chosen, they are informally knighted by a stand-in St. Patrick and forcibly dunked into the vat of liquid filth.

Because this didn’t really hold up to health regulations, the tradition was discontinued in 1996. However, this year the St. Pats committee brought it back in another form. A vat would be filled with water and green dye, and participation would be strictly voluntary. The university agreed to allow the event provided the name “Alice” was changed to alleviate the bad publicity it brought to the celebration.

This is all fine and good except for two things. 1.) They told Alumni that Alice was coming back, and will have to fight the older members from adding “ingredients” to the recipe. 2.) They took out a ½ page ad in the Rolla Daily News proclaiming the return of Alice – much to the dismay of the student population and likely the university administration. Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be a lot of drama to come.


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