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Here’s mud in your eye! September 26, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.
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“Come here and watch this,” I yelled at Austin. I wanted to show off my work, of course, but that wasn’t the entirety of my motivation. “This could be you next year.”

I wanted him to get a look at Mud Tug, an annual fundraiser sponsored by members of RIT’s Greek community and enjoyed by students from across campus. I had taken the office Flip camera to this year’s event intending to shoot some highlights and share it on the University News YouTube channel. Having just posted the completed video, I figured it was an opportunity to introduce Austin to an additional aspect of student life on campus.

The concept behind Mud Tug isn’t unique—a tug-of-war fought on the perimeters of a mud pit—but the spectacle is still really compelling. For folks in my demographic, it’s a nostalgic reminder of more carefree days. But for my son, now a high school senior, it’s potential insight into a world within his grasp—a work-hard, play-hard culture that increasing signifies the existence of many RIT students.

There’s never been a lot of doubt about the “work hard” aspect of student life. However, the university has traditional received a bum wrap for its perceived lack of school spirit. A lot of that got shredded earlier in this year during the hockey team’s magical ride to the NCAA Frozen Four.

But naysayers still exist, and Mud Tug is most frequently trotted out as the easy rebuttal. And why not? Photos of the event look great in the university’s viewbooks. But campus life features so much more, and perhaps the onus is on all of us who represent RIT in some way to do a better job at showcasing that.

In the meantime, I sure enjoyed sharing a small slice of what it’s like on my campus. I’m even wearing the splatters to prove it. Here’s mud in your eye!

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