By Jordan Hall
There is certain things every freshman must learn when they go to college. At the University of Florida, the freshmen learn the gator chomp. At Florida State the freshmen learn to throw imaginary spears with intense passion.
At Southwestern every freshman learns to embody the spirit of the Jinx and embrace the history of Southwestern. The biggest tradition has to do with the Jinx in the middle of the 77 steps. Any soul who’s unlucky foot, steps on the Jinx is destined to be cursed for their time in school, as well as any group their associated with, until they kiss the cement tile.
Bryant Belden, philosophy and religion senior, informed me of a story that was told him when he was a freshman.
“Years ago, there was a brand new soccer coach for the women. Unaware of the legend of the jinx, the coach continually walked his daily route from his house to his classroom, stepping on the jinx every time,” Belden continued. “A student noticed the coach step on the Jinx one day and knew the girls soccer team was on losing a streak. The student informed the coach of the sacrifice he had to make. The girl’s won the next game, it was the first time in weeks.”
Claren McCormick, biology sophomore, says the truth behind the tradition lies in a football victory of Arch rival Fairmount College (now Wichita State University) in the early 1900s. The students etched the winning score of 41-3 on a tombstone. Fairmount students were upset and made several attempts to do away with the rock. Each time a hero rose in the Builder family and the rock was miraculously saved.
Then tragedy struck and the Fairmount students got a hold of the rock and blew it up in a nearby field. Yet, the Southwestern football players would not let this damp their spirits. They wore pieces of the rock in their jerseys in the next game. They unfortunately lost the game, but legend says pieces of the rock were scattered across the campus going to any future builders who need a little luck.
There has been multiple reports of a black cat running onto the basketball court as well. Timothy Meiser, assistant basketball coach, stated that he has only seen the Jinx run on the court twice. But that both times were filled chaos and everyone stopped in their tracks in surprise. He also said that one instance it occurred during a game and they won.
The Jinx is the pride and joy of Southwestern. It currently lies on the 77 steps and there are symbols to remind the students the significance of the Jinx, for example the gymnasium has glass tapestry with a black cat that sits a top of it.
As long as the Jinx logo is engraved on the seventy-seven steps, the Jinx will forever live on.
Jordan Hall is a freshman majoring in communication. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org