IU’s traditions have been almost 200 years in the making. Some are beloved parts of our collective history. Some are just a few years old. All remind you that you are part of something amazing.
Traditions & Spirit
Whether you need an “A” on your next exam or just need some good luck, tradition says you’ll get what you need if you shake the hand of the Herman B Wells statue.
What is a Hoosier, anyway?
A Hoosier is not a mascot. It’s not an animal, a bird, or a mythical creature, either. A Hoosier is a proud member of the IU family.
When we need to remind ourselves what that means, we get out our cream and crimson gear or put on our candy-striped pants and go all in to cheer on our athletic teams.
Put up those fists
And everyone quickly learns how to do the “Fists and Blades.” You can get extra credit by learning it now.
Secure your Hoosier status in five easy steps
Listing every single IU tradition here would be next to impossible. There are too many to count. But there are a few things that every Hoosier simply must do.
Step 1: Throw yourself into the Welcome Week festivities
If you start at IU as a freshman, you will arrive on campus a full week before classes start. But you still have plenty of “work” to do!
The entire campus strives to make you feel welcome and help you get acclimated to life here. Jump into the activities and by the time your first class starts, you’ll already feel at home.
Once you’ve found a romantic partner you want to spend your life with, kiss him or her in the Rose Well House at the stroke of midnight. Tradition says that when you do, you’ll be together forever.
Step 2: Show your stripes during Homecoming
During Homecoming, we celebrate athletics, traditions, and all things IU. Events include parades, concerts, and, of course, a football game. Deck yourself out in cream and crimson and enjoy the fun!
Step 3: Catch Hoosier hysteria
Every year, the basketball season starts with Hoosier Hysteria. This weekend event kicks team spirit into high gear with lots of pageantry and plenty of basketball.
Step 4: Shake what your mama gave you
At IU, even dancing is serious fun. Students dance for 36 hours straight during the IU Dance Marathon to benefit Riley Children’s Hospital. To date, they’ve raised more than $24 million.
Step 5: Have big fun during the Little 500
Frequently called “the greatest college weekend,” the Little 500 (or Little Five, as Hoosiers call it) is made up of two bike races—one for men, one for women. Teams of four ride laps around Armstrong Stadium while more than 25,000 fans cheer them on. All the money raised goes to student scholarships.