Letter to the editor


Photo from a Sperm and Ova squad advertisement in the October 15, 1982 Trinitonian.

Submitted by Paul Myers, professor of computer science.

To the Editor:

Every few years a Trinitonian article appears recounting an old Trinity tradition, the Sperm & Ova. This last (March 3) issue was the most informative yet … and it brings back memories!

I was a brand new faculty member in the mid-1980’s when I found myself at a TU football game and accidentally part of the ritual. After a few minutes of chaos in the stands, involving running and leaping sheeted students and lots of shaving cream, they all moved onto the field and ended up pulling me out with them. Then the real ritual, as descibed in the article, began. I found that colorful event kinda charming, and in some ways actually beautiful. And it struck me that this was a real, organic tradition at Trinity. Until it wasn’t. I suppose that people have to get offended by something, and as mentioned in the article, the tradition was banned. I have no idea whether my experience was at the very last one or if it persisted another year or two. I also had no idea that students were at risk of being expelled if they tried to revive it.

I found my own internal/aesthetic reason to be offended when some time thereafter, Trinity announced a new school “tradition”: something about not stepping on some circular tile until graduation. Why? Because some other school somewhere had that as their tradition. Tradition by edict! Ugh. Never mind that we had had our own, homegrown tradition that actually made use of Trinity’s unique physical setting. It was all kinda sad.

However, at roughly the same time (I think) or eventually, Trinity came up with a new logo; and my, heart leapt! I’ve never heard anyone comment on this, but I’ve always felt that if one were to commemorate the Sperm & Ova by creating a marginally subtle and stylized image, would it be possible to top this:

I mean, seriously, would it?!

The Sperm & Ova live on, in almost every official Trinity communication!