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Homecoming splashes down

Published: Thursday, November 6, 2008

Updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 09:10

Tradition continues today as once again the Reflecting Pond in front of Millican Hall fills with more than water. Spirit Splash will begin at noon with the rushing of the pond at 12:45 p.m.

"[Spirit splash] looks like fun," history major Jessica Swerdlow said. "I always saw the pictures of it in the Orlando Sentinel, and now that I'm here, I've got to go. Maybe I'll be in the Sentinel, and my parents will see it."

The annual event is the one time a year when students are allowed and encouraged to go for a swim in the two-foot deep Reflecting Pond.

"I just wanted to be part of the experience," biotechnology major Vishal Nagda said. "It's my first Homecoming, so I thought it would be cool to try it. I've been hearing from other students that it's the only time you can jump in the water, so I'm going to take advantage of that."

Spirit Splash takes place traditionally on the Friday before the Homecoming game, this year against Southern Miss, with students showcasing their school spirit as they descend into the pond for an aquatic pep rally and concert.

This year's concert will feature local South Floridian LB-E-Z performing his self-titled style of music "Razzo Dazzo" through his profanity-free songs: "Wiggle Up Wiggle Down", "College Life" and "F.L.A." among others.

Following LB-E-Z's concert is the Pep Rally that will include performances by the Marching Knights, UCF cheerleaders and Knight Moves as well as the customary appearance of Knightro, all to be watched while wading in the cool waters of the Reflecting Pond in between Millican Hall and the Library.

To accompany the free entertainment are giveaways such as T-shirts.

"I go because of the free T-shirts," psychology and computer information technology major Rafia Ba said. "I'm collecting as many free UCF shirts as I can. Though they usually give out only extra large, and I give them to my brother."

The tradition of Spirit Splash, awarded best university tradition in the state by Florida Leader magazine in 2000, began in 1995 when then Student Body President Miguel Torregrossa was tossed into the pond by his cabinet member Bryan Farris and the crowd followed suit.

To prepare for this event, teams consisting of student organizations involved with Homecoming, repaint the recycled fountain's splash guards to match the year's current Homecoming theme.

The splash guards are square plywood boards that surround the center of the pond during Spirit Splash to protect the water spouts, as the fountain is turned off for the event.

Teams submitted their designs to the Homecoming Executive Board, which selected the top 25 to become reality.

The teams painted the splash guards Monday afternoon.

To ensure the safety of participators, the UCF Homecoming Web site has posted rules banning piggyback riding, moshing, diving, throwing objects and eating while in the reflection pond.

Also banned from the pond are pets and inflatable items other then those provided by the Homecoming Executive board.

If in violation of a rule a student will be asked to leave.

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