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San Diego: Traditions

While the campus had established several traditions by the mid-1960s, their history was short, since undergraduates were not admitted to the campus until the fall of 1964.

Beach Parties
Faculty Home Visitations
Frosh Beanies
Honor Code
Trip To Baja California
Watermelon Drop
Welcome Day

Beach Parties
Beach Parties were held on the beach in front of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus about a half mile from the Torrey Pines campus. One or two beach parties a year were formally organized by the Student Affairs Office. They usually started in the afternoon and lasted into the evening, with a fire, food, volleyball, touch football, and often music and dancing.

Faculty Home Visitations
Faculty Home Visitations were held during three evenings of registration week. Early in the week, the freshmen students signed up to visit various faculty homes and were treated to a small informal gathering with punch or coffee and cookies. By 1968, 36 faculty members took part in the program, established in 1964.

Frosh Beanies
Frosh Beanies were distributed to members of the freshman class at the Welcome Day picnic as a gift from the UCSD Honorary Alumni. This tradition began with the first freshman class to enter San Diego in the fall of 1964. The hats bore the class numeral and were worn during registration week.

Honor Code
An honor code was established by the student body in 1964 and was expanded into the dormitories which opened for the first time in fall, 1965.

Trip to Baja California
The trip to the Escuela Superior de Ciencias Marinas of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California began during Thanksgiving holiday in 1960, when a group of foreign students under the direction of Norris Rakestraw, then foreign students' advisor, visited the Mexican Marine Institution. The institution was located in Ensenada and was part of the University of Baja, with headquarters in Mexicali. At the time of the first trip, the Mexican marine school had eight students and was under the direction of Professor Pedro Mercado, an alumnus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Students from the Mexican Marine Institution returned the visit a year later. It developed into a twice-a-year visit, with San Diego students visiting Mexico during Christmas holidays and Mexican students visiting San Diego in May. For the last two years, the two groups played soccer, the national game of Mexico. A perpetual trophy was held by the winner. A total of nearly 250 faculty and students took part in the visit to Mexico by 1968.

The Triton was selected by the undergraduates in November, 1964 to be the school mascot. An official caricature of the mascot had not yet been developed by the mid-1960's.

Watermelon Drop
Following finals in the spring, a watermelon was dropped from the seventh floor of Building B to see how far it would splatter. A watermelon queen was chosen by the students.

Welcome Day
Welcome Day was a picnic day hosted for the freshmen and their families by the honorary alumni. It was held outdoors in the Building B Plaza on the Sunday before the start of registration week. Speeches of welcome were made and tours of the campus were arranged.


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