Hole in Bricks

A hole created by missing bricks sits outside the Free Expression Tunnel on March 14, 2017. Holes like this one pop up across the campus due to students taking bricks as keepsakes, and the gaps in the walkways can sometimes grow to be rather large. Stealing a brick, while not an official tradition of the university, is a well-known practice among students.

Traditions are a large part of NC State’s campus and culture — especially for graduating students who have the opportunity to earn their Tradition Keeper Medal. The opportunity still stands this year; however, it has been difficult for students to take part in such events due to the pandemic.

According to Noah Lohr, traditions keeper chair for NC State University Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program (AASAP), the Brick app allows students to track and complete traditions on campus. Lohr said the fact that NC State’s traditions span generations connects classes of students, from this year’s graduating seniors to those who walked campus before the class of 2021 was even born. 

More than that, the traditions provide an opportunity to bring students from various different backgrounds together.

“[Students] start out with taking pictures of traditions you complete around campus, starting with orientation and ending with commencement,” said AASAP Director of Traditions Max Bonghi. “It's a fun way to meet new people, explore campus and get to know what NC State has to offer.”

This year, students have experienced some difficulties attempting to complete their traditions. Many annual events like Packapalooza, typically promoted to get students involved on campus, did not take place. This left some students just short of the 40 traditions needed to earn the medal.

Due to the pandemic, the minimum number of traditions needed in order to get the Tradition Keeper Medal has lowered. Instead of needing a total of 40 completed traditions, students with 30 will receive the medal. 

“With reducing the tradition limit, we can maintain or improve traditions levels with everyone off campus,” Bonghi said.

Boghi remains hopeful that students will be able to complete the requirements, as there are many traditions that can be completed off campus. 

“There are several traditions you can complete while off campus,” Bonghi said. “If you scroll through the [Brick] app, you can see that you can get a Cook Out milkshake, you can wear red on Fridays, you can snap a picture holding a textbook, making the Dean’s List, reading the Technician, wearing your class ring. So, you know, sometimes you have to think outside the box if you really want the Traditions Keeper Medal.”

Students are also able to create their own traditions on NC State’s campus, making the possibilities virtually endless. Additionally, as the fall semester approaches, AASAP hopes to see a spike in traditions participation; as some restrictions are eased and students return to campus, more traditions will be readily accessible for completion.

According to Lohr, the AASAP is creating new traditions that will come out soon, and students are encouraged to keep an eye on the Brick app to track their traditions and obtain their Tradition Keeper Medal in time for graduation. 

“[Community] is something we really strive for,” Lohr said. “At the end of the day, we want everyone to feel like a big family on campus and a part of the Wolfpack, and so we believe we can do that through the Brick app.”