Misc //

USYD OWeek Rituals

Victoria Zerbst has done four of these

Victoria Zerbst has done four of these


As far back as the 1960s, brave students have snuck into the Vice-Chancellor’s Office during O Week and left scintillating letters on his desk. This tradition has evolved with the times, and in its current form, students dare each other to steal pens or pen holders from the office of Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence. Allegedly, an exclusive Facebook group called ‘The Spence Pen15 Club’ exists for those who have stolen pens or taken O Week selfies in his office.


For the past three years, the second night of O Week has ended with the NGN. As the sun goes down on O Week Thursday, students undress and retag the entire Graffiti Tunnel. In the past, students also spray-painted their bodies and danced, but university administration has warned against this after a student suffered an allergic reaction last year. Students taking part must now wear a yellow hard-hat so facilitators can identify them.


Since the 1978 production of The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?, members of the Sydney University Dramatic Society have staged an O Week ceremony where they worship a life-sized goat prop. Every year, on the opening night of their O Week show, student thespians don ritualistic robes and wheel ‘Billy’ around the quad in a theatrical parade. In 2013, the parade featured a real goat and two kids. This attracted calls for its removal from animal rights organisation PETA. Now the event is strictly vegan.


Legal advice suggests that we can’t publish this one, but if you head to the women’s bathrooms in New Law Level 0 (just down from Taste), the end stalls have some clues.


To celebrate the end of the O Week, USYD students traditionally set upon UTS to take part in the UTS Condom Toss. Disguised as UTS students, students climb to the top of their phallic main tower and toss condoms onto the rest of their ugly campus. Last year, the Dom Toss erupted in fracas after a number of USYD students allegedly shouted “UTS! Don’t reproduce! UTS! Don’t reproduce!”


Apparently initiated by the members of the Chaser’s War on Everything in their student days, every year the SRC election ends in a Toast Fight (TF) outside the Jane Foss Russell Building. Student Unity are ardent upholders of the tradition, and have set up an Instagram account to document the crusty brawl.


During Stuvac, students take breaks from studying in Fisher Library to partake in the Carillon Primal Scream. Every time the Carillon rings during the day, hundreds of undergraduates run to the Quad and scream at the tops of their lungs. Some have even managed to scale Carillon tower and scream in its echoing chambers.