Department Blog

Special Collections

Another school year begins.

September 27th, 2012 by Jenny Hodge

Students are back and classes have started! Summer is behind us and the student population has exploded as the hustle and bustle of the academic year takes over once more. Freshman welcome to UC Davis and returning students welcome back. Keep an eye out for new bikers as our quiet summer campus goes from this:

To this (note the freshmen dinks on many of these bicyclists):

To learn about UC Davis traditions, such as the freshman dink, visit the current fall exhibit in front of Special Collections in Shields Library.

UC Davis Traditions: Tank Rush and Frosh-Soph Brawl

September 27th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Next up in the UC Davis Traditions series: the Tank Rush and the Frosh-Soph Brawl.

Class rivalry dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank on October 3. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The tank rush evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

If the freshmen won the Frosh-Soph Brawl, they could stop wearing the frosh dinks immediately. However, if the sophomores won the brawl, the freshmen had to wear the dinks until the Pajamarino Rally, which was held during Homecoming Weekend. The Frosh-Soph Brawl tradition survived at least until the 1960s.

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of the Frosh-Soph Brawl in 1958.

Frosh-Soph Brawl, 1958

Look Familiar???

September 23rd, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

How was your first week at UCD?  If you’re like this new freshman you are probably being introduced to many new and fun Aggie traditions (see earlier post on freshman dinks).  What we know about this photograph from the University Archives is that it was taken during orientation week in 1967.  But who are the two people welcoming this freshman to campus?  Is she a cheerleader or pep girl?  What kind of sweater is the man in the background wearing?  What other kind of activities went on during orientation week besides handing out freshman dinks?  Please comment on any of these questions or on any memories you may have of your first week at UCD.

UC Davis Traditions: Frosh Dinks

September 19th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Our next installment in the UC Davis Traditions series features the frosh dinks.

Members of the freshman class, as a sign of unity, wore caps known as dinks. The dinks, which were blue with a gold button and had “Cal Aggie” lettered in gold across the front, were worn by all freshmen to classes and meetings. If the freshmen won the Frosh-Soph Brawl, which occurred during the first month of classes, they could stop wearing the dinks immediately. However, if the sophomores won the brawl, the freshmen had to wear the dinks until the Pajamarino Rally, which was held during Homecoming Weekend. This campus tradition went out of fashion in the 1960s.

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of students wearing the dinks.

Students wearing frosh dinks, circa 1960s