The Terrapins men’s basketball game ended 61 years of ACC tradition on Sunday.
But with the end of an era comes a budding relationship with the Big Ten conference, and members of the Student Government Association traditions and programming committee are looking to kick that off with new traditions. Working with athletic department and Memorial Chapel officials, the committee proposed the idea of playing the Maryland Victory Song from the chapel bells on game days to encourage campus spirit.
“It’s a way of connecting the campus by a way we so often associated with athletics,” said Kevin LaCherra, committee chairman and senior government and politics and history major.
The bells rang on Sunday and will play the victory song on every basketball and football game day in the future at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., LaCherra said. It’s a way to take state and university pride from athletic games and instill it in campus life each game day, he said.
For Mary Liddi, a sophomore criminology and criminal justice major on the committee, changing the bells was her first major accomplishment on the committee.
“I thought it was important to make people excited about games,” Liddi said. “Everybody would know that there’s a game that day.”
The change was easy, she said, because the bells chime using an electronic system.
The bells have played the university’s alma mater for more than 40 years. The chime began playing hourly in 1999. That same year, the university started the tradition of playing a variety of classical selections every hour on Maryland Day.
The chapel is a “central location for so many students on campus,” LaCherra said. “It’s a building that has its foundation so much in the student experience here.”
Some students, such as junior Craig Dickson, said playing the victory song on the bells is a welcome change from the alma mater.
“The same bell every hour is kind of annoying,” said Dickson, an aerospace engineering major.
Other students said the university should branch out and play an even more diverse mix of songs. Freshman plant sciences major Rachel Patterson said she’d like if the bells played pop songs every hour.
Hearing the victory song earlier this week surprised freshman environmental science major Trevor Gibson.
Because there was no announcement to the general university community, Gibson said he wasn’t expecting the bells at 11:30 a.m. But he likes the change.
“I don’t think all students go to sporting events, and so that’s primarily where you hear that song,” he said. “And it’s catchy.”
Senior staff writer Teddy Amenabar is a junior journalism major covering crime. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @teddyamen and @dbkcrime.