6 Back-to-School Traditions at MSIs

by Jillian Cener

With the summer winding down, students all over the country are getting ready to head back to school. Luckily for students at these Minority Serving Institutions, they have some pretty cool traditions and events to look forward to! Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features 6 back-to-school traditions at MSIs around the country.

1) Templo del Sol: San Diego State University (AANAPISI/HSI)—San Diego, CA


Organized by the Office of New Student and Parent Programs and sponsored by Aztec Nights, Templo del Sol is a relatively new tradition on campus. The event takes place the night of freshman move-in and is a celebration for all new students on campus. Students get to enjoy music, games, and activities, while also learning the institution’s Fight Song.

2) Starvation Gulch: University of Alaska, Fairbanks (ANNH)—Fairbanks, AK


Starvation Gulch has long roots on campus, going back to the year 1923. Though the activities have changed throughout the years, Starvation Gulch is a way for students to celebrate the new school year. Activities include a game night, outdoor activities, and bonfires.

3) Cat Camp: Texas State University (HSI)—San Marcos, TX


Texas State offers its new incoming students to participate in Cat Camp the summer before their first fall semester. Cat Camp takes place over the course of a few days in which new students learn about the campus and its traditions. It’s a great way for new students to meet other incoming students, as well as upperclassman.

4) Panther Camp: Florida International University (HSI)—Miami, FL


Panther Camp is a way for new freshman or transfer students to get to know FIU before they start their first semester. With start dates throughout the year depending on the semester of admission, Panther Camp participants get to know FIU faculty, staff, and students as they learn about their institution’s traditions. Students also develop leadership skills and get to know about the resources available to them on campus.

5) University 101: Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA


Hampton gives its incoming students a prolonged opportunity to learn about the campus and its traditions. All students must participate in an orientation before classes start, in which they learn about college life and Hampton’s traditions. Once classes do start, new students are required to take a University 101 course in which they will continue to learn about the history of their institution.

6) Minerpalooza: University of Texas at El Paso (HSI)—El Paso, TX


Students at UTEP look forward to Minerpalooza every year, an event filled with food, games, and entertainment every August. The event serves as a pep rally for the new school year and allows students to connect with new and old friends. Minerpalooza is also a great way for students to get to know about different student organizations on campus.

How is your school celebrating the new academic year? Let us know in the comments below!

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