The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Chalk city! GC’s most colorful tradition

Brinkley Bolton
Courtesy of Brinkley Bolton

As soon as midnight hits on the first day of Homecoming week, the GCSU campus turns into a rainbow chalk city. The sidewalks all around campus get filled with messages about who to vote for and which candidates to support. This tradition of chalking up campus has existed for many years and has become a staple in GC’s Homecoming festivities.

By midnight on the day before Homecoming officially begins, there are many girls already scattered all across campus vying for the best and most visible spots to chalk up.

In past years, the spots most filled with chalk tended to be the fountain area and the main campus sidewalks. This tradition serves as a way for Greek Life sororities to market their campaigns and candidates to the rest of GC. While the idea of chalking up campus at midnight might sound daunting to some, that has never stopped sororities and fraternities from spending their Monday night writing all along the campus.

Grace Farrell, a junior marketing major, is Zeta Tau Alpha’s Homecoming chair for the second year in a row.

“I try to stress to our girls that if you don’t seem like you support your candidates, why would anyone else want to?” Farrell said.

The two official rules and regulations of campus chalking are that the groups cannot begin until midnight on the dot and that they are not allowed to use their chalk on the brick walls or any elevated surfaces on campus, such as benches and stairs. The sidewalks, however, are free game. In the past, there have been breaches of protocol, but for the most part, everybody tends to follow the rules of this tradition. 

If a sorority or fraternity does break the rules, they could potentially get fined or even suspended from the week’s festivities.

GC’s Homecoming chalking tradition is one of a kind and not typically done at other colleges. The University of Tennessee, however, puts their own spin on the chalking Homecoming tradition.

Student clubs and organizations are assigned spaces on Pedestrian Walkway to create a chalk design to promote Homecoming week,” said Sarah Portanka, a writer at The Daily Beacon, the University of Tennessee’s campus newspaper.

Customary events at other schools often include a Homecoming parade and a Homecoming football game, if applicable to the school. 

GC closes out Homecoming week by holding its Homecoming parade, where each candidate and their affiliating organization are recognized. The weekend following the parade, GC has its annual Homecoming basketball games and Tent City tailgating event. It is the chalking tradition, however, which officially starts off the week. 

The chalking difficulties that other schools might face include having too large of a campus to cover every corner with chalk, or their campus could be in the city, making it difficult for them to write anywhere. 

“Chalking works really well on our campus because our campus is small, and you don’t have to go super far to get your message across,” Farell said.

Another factor that goes into chalking up campus is that sororities and fraternities want to get people excited for Homecoming and all its festivities. Covering the campus with rainbow advertisements gives the students and faculty of GC a shock factor when they step on campus that first day of Homecoming week. 

The amount of chalking a sorority does also plays a role in getting their name out there, so by the time voting rolls around, they are making sure they are being remembered. 

“Just by having people see those names and their affiliations impacts their choice at the end of the day when voting comes around,” said Mallory Irvin, a sophomore mass communication major and Kappa Delta’s Vice President of Recruitment and Marketing. 

At the end of the day, turning the GC campus into a rainbow road of Homecoming advertisements is a long-standing tradition that has been and will continue to be a part of the week’s campaigning festivities. 

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