It looks like freshman noses will be safe this year.
Upperclassmen are planning to help freshmen with a time-honored tradition of ringing the Homecoming bell.
After the construction of the Beauchamp Bell Tower in 1980, a tradition developed in which freshman would ring the Goetz-Beauchamp Bell throughout Homecoming while upperclassmen tried to stop them. According to the ACU AnswerBook, upperclassmen, especially sophomores, tried to stop the freshmen from ringing the bell each year through tricks and friendly confrontation and sometimes as pledge dares. This ended in 2001 when one freshman ended up with a broken nose, others with concussions and abrasions during a physical encounter among freshmen and upperclassmen.
The bell was taken down in 2001 after the escalation of class and club rivalries. It was found in storage in 2012, put back up inside the tower outside the Money Student Wellness Center soon after, and freshmen continued the bell-ringing tradition.
This year though, after the dissolution of the Freshmen Action Council, the Student Association is aiding them in continuing the bell ringing. Freshmen representatives are also helping create an SA float because an FAC float will not be in the parade.
Shelby Short, president of the freshman class, met with Caddie Coupe, director of student and parent activities, earlier this week to finalize details to continue this tradition safely.
Short sent an email to freshmen on Tuesday afternoon, letting them sign up for 15-minute intervals to ring the bell and spots filled up Wednesday afternoon. Coupe said “there will be an SA freshmen representative overseeing the bell ringing for the duration of the tradition.”
Short, a freshman engineering major from Caddo Mills, said that “this week is going to be a big week for the freshmen educating them on the tradition.”
As for the danger of upperclassmen going on the offense again, ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said, “ACUPD has not been consulted or involved in any aspects of the planning. But since it has come back into an annual tradition, we haven’t had any incidents.”