10 Xavier Traditions

Aug 13, 2019

Alumni and Current Students Share Bucket List Items for Incoming Class

By Ryan Clark

Gabrielle Sapata says it all really started the day she moved in. That’s when she began getting advice about everything she needed to do during her career at Xavier.

“My Manresa leaders talked about things to do and see,” says the 2018 graduate. “They talked about things on campus, and things you had to do in Cincinnati. It started early.”

There are definitely Bucket List items, she says — things you cannot miss. And she’s not alone. Many alumni and current students love sharing their advice about what Musketeers need to do during their time here. From where to eat, to how to get ready for a big game, there’s no shortage of recommendations.


Musketeers vs. Bearcats

For Chloe Borah, a 2017 graduate who worked with the X-treme Fans, it all started with going to gameday. Many say you should (1) camp out for a ticket to see the Crosstown Shootout at Cintas, where Xavier plays archrival Cincinnati in men’s hoops. Of course, you must get ready first.

“Stop by a local craft store like Michael’s—they will know you by name by the end of the season—and stock up on large bottles of white and bold blue acrylic paint,” Borah says. “Also, makeup sponges will become your best friend.”

Lastly, she says to remember to throw your confetti the first time the Musketeers score.

Where it all Begins

It’s all good advice, but we may be getting ahead of ourselves. After all, you can’t start your Xavier career without (2) going through Manresa.

“That’s where it all begins,” Sapata said. “You can make some of your best friends—friends you’ll have for the rest of your life—at Manresa.”

Not Afraid of the Dark

Keep those friends close when you’re coming into the dark—(3) Muskies After Dark, that is.

“These events are held on evenings throughout the school year for students who want to stay on campus for some fun,” says Admission Counselor Kelly Conklin. “They can be movie nights, cookouts, bounce houses, and other events. It could be a carnival, a Vegas theme, a disco or a comedian, but attending this X staple at Gallagher is always a blast.”

Join the Club
Many students have mentioned (4) Club Day, though not necessarily because it’s the best way to go out for any of the University’s 170-plus clubs and organizations. “Sure, you want to find out about the latest and best clubs to join, but many students come out to see how many free T-shirts they can collect,” Sapata says, laughing. “The same goes for (5) XavierFest.”

XavierFest: Food, Shirts
That would be the University’s celebration at the end of the school year, featuring food trucks, fun and entertainment across campus. But even if you don’t get a free T-shirt, you can still have a great time.

Day to Give Back
Many students brought up the idea of giving back and mentioned (6) Community Action Day, one day where all on Xavier’s campus go out into the surrounding community and engage in public service. “You’re doing good for the less fortunate, and it only takes a few hours of your day to make a big difference,” says senior Luke Feliciano. “Also, because most clubs do it together, it’s a bonding thing, too.”

A Good Alternative
Of course, if giving back is your thing, why not do it for a whole week? Many students credit Xavier’s (7) Alternative Breaks with changing their lives. Join your Xavier peers as you pick a social justice issue, study it, then travel to an area in the U.S. to experience the topic you chose.

Surrender? No—Retreat!
Similarly, some students go on a trip of self-discovery. You can learn more about Xavier’s Ignation Tradition by joining The Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice (8) on a retreat.

“Like the Center for Faith and Justice’s Get-Away, or Approach, which helps focus one’s attitude on life,” said Julia Fermier, a 2018 grad. “Then again, you can also find that focus by attending a 10 p.m. service at Bellarmine Chapel.”


Don’t Rock the Boat
Of course, sometimes you just want to let off some steam, and that means fun events like (9) the Boat Dance.

“Students have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this annual dance held on BB Riverboats,” says Kelly Conklin, an admission counselor in Undergraduate Admission. “Musketeers can dance the night away under the lights of the Cincinnati skyline as they cruise down the Ohio River.”

Late Night Breakfast
And, as Finals Week rolls around, there’s no better tradition than (10) Late Night Breakfast in the Caf, when all students are welcome to a free late-night breakfast served by University volunteers. Line up to get your pancakes and tater tots! And when you’ve graduated, maybe you’ll even come back to work the event:

“I decided to join the Late Night Breakfast Crew because I remember the joy it brought to me as student,” says Elle McFarland, a 2015 grad. “Even with the stress of finals, it is one of the few events of the year that brings everyone together. Now as an employee of XU, I love that I get to celebrate the end of the school year with the students. They are the reason working at Xavier is so special and getting to see them having fun and continuing a tradition that I and many others were a part of is really heartwarming.”



Enjoy Cincinnati

Every September, students flock to downtown to see the WEBN fireworks display light up Cincinnati. Of course, on any weekend you can spend the day at the riverfront, go to the zoo, or take a hike. There’s a reason why so many Xavier grads still call Cincinnati home.