Why this BU tradition will have you avoiding a piece of Marsh Plaza

August 10th, 2017

Tradition. A large part of any college student’s journey. Traditions help to mold the character and image of a university; to engage in a university’s timeless tradition helps to etch yourself into the fabric of the institution you call home.

Boston University is home to many student traditions. We are often seen sporting scarlet and white gear around campus with our ruthless Rhett and classical BU logos on the front. Other traditions include, numerous chants that liven up the hockey games bellowed from our student section at Agganis Arena, cheering on the Red Sox as they play minutes away from central campus, or getting lost in the city by riding the T to make new discoveries about such a historic city. Some BU customs even start as early as Orientation, with fan favorites like Terriers Night Out, where busting some sick moves helps to solidify yourself as “one of the cool kids.”

However, not all traditions boast happy endings. One of my favorite traditions, and most notable on campus, is the legend of the BU Seal. What is this seal I speak of?

Well, in the middle of central campus, located in the beautiful Marsh Plaza, there is the BU Seal. It’s quite hard to miss from its size and aged green color. Legend has it that if you walk across it, stand on it, or touch it in any way, you will not graduate in four years.

People walk through and around Marsh Plaza everyday; it serves as a meeting ground for various demonstrations, performances, and is utilized by almost each and every student who has two legs and a heartbeat on this campus. It is inevitable that as a student on this campus, you will come in contact with the beast head on.

I personally try my hardest to avoid the seal at all cost. There was a close encounter my first year here at BU. It was dark at night, and me with some of my friends were walking across the plaza towards The Esplanade (the area right by the Charles). I had made a funny joke, and did one of those “let me act foolish to prove how funny it was in real life” walks, dangerously close to the seal. Once I realized where I was in relation of proximity to the seal, I quickly ran away. I prayed my foot did not graze the circular hellhole. Proceeding that, I literally had to retrace my foot places during the walk to reassure myself I had not stepped on it. That’s how frightened I was! Knowing me, I love college, but I cannot afford to be here longer than five years!

The Legend, should you believe in it or not, can affect your time here at BU. Specifically around that episode, I became very attentive to my studies. Traditions not only keep school spirit high, but they also help define the student body on campus. The Seal is a tradition that you should respect and observe at all costs!

– Emmanuel Reid, COM ’20

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