Students carry on campaniling tradition

AMELIA DUAX, Staff Writer

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As the Campanile struck midnight on Oct. 20, over 300 students gathered to celebrate the long-held homecoming tradition of campaniling.

The tradition involves gathering around the Campanile and kissing someone at midnight as the bell rings.

The tradition began in the 1920’s shortly after the Campanile’s construction, and the UNI Alumni Association revamped the tradition in 1979, according to the Rod Library website.

One popular myth is that students who do not participate in campaniling at least once before graduation will have one of the tower’s bricks fall on their head. Student Admissions ambassedors often tell this story to prospective students during campus tours.

Whether students are single, in a relationship or simply looking for a fun homecoming event to attend, campaniling is a traditional way to kick off the homecoming weekend festivities.

One student who participated in campaniling this year was Emily Lovell, a junior majoring in psychology. Lovell went with a group of friends rather than a date but was still curious to see what campaniling was all about.

“I was pretty excited to see how campaniling would go,” Lovell said. “I mean, I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure if a lot of people would show up. I thought maybe campaniling was too hyped up for what it would actually be […] It’s kind of a weird concept, to just show up and kiss someone, but I think that makes it more exciting.”

Many students go campaniling dateless with the intent of simply observing the festivities, not participating with a kiss themselves. Some students have even given this practice its own term: “creepaniling.”

Junior elementary education major Alexis Bowers was another student who went campaniling with a group of friends. This was Bower’s second time campaniling, but she did not go with a date.

“I just went with a group of my friends. It would be nice to have a date to campanile with, but it was still fun to go,” Bowers said. “I mean, it’s homecoming, so why not go? People without a date should still come — it’s a fun way to experience the different homecoming traditions we have at UNI.”

Campaniling attracted not only UNI students, but also students from other schools. Sydney Heims, a freshman at Iowa State University, was visiting UNI to experience the homecoming festivities.

“I was really interested to see what homecoming would be like at UNI, since a few of my friends go here,” Heims said. “I think campaniling is a pretty fun concept. I didn’t have a date, but it was still cool to see so many students gather and have a good time.”

Students weren’t the only ones who got to enjoy campaniling; there were a few service dogs and emotional support animals also present for the event. The animal friends also received many kisses from their owners as the clock struck midnight.

As another campaniling event came and went, students were preparing to cheer on the Panthers at the homecoming football game. The next campaniling event will happen again next year as UNI celebrates its 2019 homecoming.

— Campus life editor Sofia Legaspi contributed to this article.

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