Rivalry week highlights campus traditions

first_imgRivalry week between USC and UCLA has begun, and the Trojan Knights have gathered in full force around Tommy Trojan to begin their annual weeklong all-night vigil that will culminate in Save Tommy Night, a student rally in McCarthy Quad on Friday night. Members of Facilities Management Services were seen duct-taping the Tommy Trojan and Traveler statues in Hahn Plaza prior to the Trojans’ football game against the University of California, Berkeley last Thursday, when it was reported that the bear statue on UCLA’s campus had been vandalized.Constant vigilance · Members of the Trojan Knights maintain a 24-hour vigil around Tommy Trojan during the week leading up to the USC-UCLA football game, an annual tradition that began in the 1930s. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily Trojan In addition to the duct-taping of the two statues, a statue of George Tirebiter, USC’s unofficial canine mascot, has been put in its protective doghouse to protect against vandalism by UCLA fans.On Sunday, a stuffed bear was hung from Tommy Trojan’s sword to kick off Troy Week, an annual week of school spirit activities preceding the football game with crosstown rival UCLA.The Trojan Knights are a spirit and service organization with particular focus on traditions unique to USC. It is the oldest men’s service organization on campus.“We focus on three things: brotherhood, philanthropy and spirit,” said Daniel Clancy,  president of the Knights.The tradition of guarding Tommy Trojan has existed since the 1930s, when the statue was painted for the first time. The Knights refer to this tradition as Tommy Watch.“My favorite thing about Tommy Watch is the amount of school spirit that kind of bubbles from all of us being here together,” said Konrad Mueller, philanthropy director of the Trojan Knights. “You see the university really come together: random people run by yelling, ‘Fight on,’ you have people walking their dogs in the morning, stopping to talk to us about a game they went to in 1978.”This is Mueller’s third year participating in Tommy Watch. He said he was doing his best to deal with cooler temperatures this week.“I’m from Chicago originally, so I have a little bit of that in my blood already, but that being said, I’m freezing my a– off,” he said.According to Will Orr, the communications director of the Trojan Knights, the material for Tommy’s sword was changed to wood in 1946 after it was broken during a prank and could not be re-welded.“We’ll be out here all week spending the night, people just spend as much time out here as they can,” Clancy said. If USC wins the football game, the Trojan Knights will be responsible for taking care of the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell that is awarded to the victor of the annual USC-UCLA football game since 1942.“We also do our best to keep an eye on Traveler and sort of patrol the different statues on campus,” said Peter Lockwood, athletics director of the Trojan Knights.The Knights were founded in 1921, and the Tommy Trojan statue was unveiled during USC’s 50th Jubilee in 1930.“I think us just hanging out around the statue is going to deter anyone from coming up, and it’s taped as well, so [guarding the statue] is much more just one of the traditions we maintain at USC,” Clancy said.There has been a long history of pranks between USC and UCLA. Most recently, USC fans painted “SC runs LA” on the Bruin statue at UCLA. The school was caught off-guard because the vandalism was done before Rivalry Week had begun.UCLA has since put the statue in a protective box to protect it from further damage.“Every once in a while they’ll dump soap into one of our fountains and make it foam up, but that’s sort of a terrible prank,” Lockwood said.So far there have been no known vandalism attempts by UCLA this year.“Ever since the security on campus has been upped and they don’t let people in past nine o’clock, there have been a lot less actual threats, but we still keep an eye out,” Lockwood said.last_img

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