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Feb 04 2018
by Caroline Mulvaney

5 Superstitions and Traditions to Know About at Georgetown University

By Caroline Mulvaney - Feb 04 2018

Every college has its superstitions. There's that one statue you tap for good luck before an exam, or a chant that everyone knows to ensure the success of the football team. Georgetown is no different. Quite a repertoire of do's and don't's has been built up in the last few decades, and they're definitely things every Hoya needs to know. 

1. The Seal

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The infamous seal, located at one of the entrances to Healy Hall, is a superstition honored by even the most skeptical students. The warning goes that you'll fail all your midterms and never graduate if you step on the seal. So, you'll always see people doing a weird long-step or walking along the edge of the stairs in order to avoid going anywhere near the danger zone. It's actually caused some structural damage to the stairs and the seal itself. Worth it. 

2. Sitting on John Carroll's Lap

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John Carroll: our university's admirable and prestigious founder. He is honored with a massive statue at the main gates of the school, and it's the first thing you see when you step onto the campus. It's a very impressive statue. What's even more impressive is the sight of a student trying to climb up onto our founder's lap without being caught by campus security. You have to sit on Carroll's lap before you graduate, or you'll never truly be a Hoya.

3. Dahlgren Fountain

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Dahlgren Fountain, located in the charming courtyard just in front of Dahlgren Chapel, doesn't really live up to its name. It can't really be called a fountain if it's never turned on. However, when it is functioning, Georgetown students can often be seen "plunging" into the 3-inch water. It could be good luck, or it could just be to cool off, but it certainly is a practice not much adored by campus security. 

4. Syracuse

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Georgetown and Syracuse is a rivalry that reignites every time the two teams go face-to-face on the basketball court. Besides having a crowd of students chanting "juice the orange," Georgetown has other ways of bringing luck upon one of the most attended games of the year. Most notably, every letter S on campus is marked out with pieces of orange duct tape. In many cases, the climbing skills of the dedicated Hoyas are to be commended. It's not easy to reach an S that's halfway up the side of a dormitory. 

5. The Election Run


Being located in D.C. places Georgetown in the center of political activity, and also makes it possible for a tradition like this one to exist. Every four years, after the results of the presidential election are announced, Georgetown students run from campus to the White House. The run can be a celebration or a protest. Students have also made the run for such events as the death of Osama Bin Laden and making it to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. 

Some of the things on this list may seem far-fetched or a little made-up. Maybe stepping on a seal has nothing to do with your academic success, and we can't win every game against Syracuse. However, as you're trying to decide whether or not to believe everything the list says, just remember the cardinal rule of superstitions: better safe than sorry. 

Lead Image Credit: Nathan Riley via Unsplash

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Caroline Mulvaney - Georgetown University

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