Songs, events and mascots to know as a new UA student


CW/ Lexi Hall

Ainsley Platt, News Editor

As new freshmen begin moving onto campus in August, many will need to learn about traditions, common sights and phrases that many existing students already know. Below are some traditions that every UA student should know about. 

Get on Board Day 

Perhaps the easiest and most visible way to get involved on campus, Get on Board Day happens once during each of the fall and spring semesters. Many of the University’s 500-plus student organizations will set up recruiting tables for new and returning students alike to visit and talk with organization members while getting a feel for what the campus has to offer. 

Fall 2022’s Get on Board Day will take place on Aug. 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Quad according to The Source website. The backup date is Aug. 30. 


When one thinks of The University of Alabama, football probably comes to mind as well. Students will see tents being pitched on the Quad in the days leading up to home football games. Many sororities and fraternities host their own tailgates in reserved areas of the Quad. More information on tailgating can be found here. 

Popular sights to see on gameday include the traditional Elephant Stomp, which takes place on the steps of Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, with the Million Dollar Band, the Crimsonettes and the cheerleaders leading the crowd in fan favorites like the University’s fight song and cheering on the Tide prior to kickoff. 

Big Al 

If you keep your eyes peeled, students may see Big Al – the University’s elephant mascot whose roots can be traced back to the 1930s – riding down University Boulevard on the back of his cart prior to kickoff. Big Al is a gameday staple on campus and has been known in recent years to crowd surf up the student section in the lower bowl of Bryant Denny Stadium during particularly well-attended games. Big Al also has a collection of costumes for every occasion – an iconic moment from last season had Big Al donning a popcorn costume in response to comments made before the football game against Ole Miss. 

If football isn’t your thing, that’s fine – Big Al is seen all over campus throughout the year attending all sorts of different events. 

The Iron Bowl 

You can’t have Alabama football without inevitably thinking of our greatest, most hated rival: Auburn University. While Alabama has claimed more victories in this rivalry, Auburn won the first Iron Bowl game in 1893. Few rivalries are as fierce and bitter as the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, which is one of the longest-running college football rivalries in the country. 

 Any seasoned Alabama fan knows that no matter how good the football team is each year, you never know what will happen when the Tide and the Tigers meet on the gridiron. A great example of this is last year’s contest in Auburn: despite Alabama’s dominant season and #3 ranking, and Auburn’s less-than-amazing record keeping them unranked once again, the Tide only pulled out the win after going into quadruple overtime after a Hail Mary drive tied up the game in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. 

The Iron Bowl takes place on Thanksgiving weekend each year and alternates location between Auburn and Tuscaloosa. This year, the Iron Bowl will be in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 26.  

Homecoming Week 

Homecoming week is a massive undertaking at The University of Alabama, with Greek organizations spending dozens of hours creating elaborate and colorful murals out of tissue paper; events like the Homecoming bonfire, and Homecoming parade; and spirit competitions like the National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show, the choreography competition, and Roll Tide Run. Each year there is a Homecoming theme tying the week’s events together — last year’s theme was “Together We Rise.” 

The election of the Homecoming Queen is also a large component of the week’s festivities. The annual tradition became a hot-button topic last year following accusations of racial undertones in campaign materials of then-candidate McLean Moore and ambiguities in the Elections Manual leading to calls to invalidate the election. Following the controversy, the SGA voted to end its involvement with Homecoming, while former Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope announced the formation of the Homecoming Task Force to make recommendations on a new Homecoming Queen election process. The final recommendations have not yet been released. 

This year’s Homecoming matchup will be against Mississippi State. Homecoming week starts on Oct. 16 and runs until Oct 22., when the Homecoming Queen will be crowned at halftime in Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

You can find more detailed information about homecoming activities and competition requirements here. 

Honors Day 

Each spring the University has Honors Day, where the many honors societies on campus induct their newest class of members. These groups range from college or major-specific societies, such as the College of Communication and Information Sciences-specific Kappa Tau Alpha, to nationally recognized organizations like the Mortar Board and Blue Key honor societies.  

Honors Day involves a tradition known as “Tapping on the Mound,” where the four senior honor societies tap their new members on The Mound, a raised area on the northwest side of the Quad where the rubble of the University was buried following the burning of the campus by Union soldiers during the Civil War. This is one of the University’s oldest traditions. Students are traditionally not told which societies they are being inducted into and only find out during the ceremony. 

More information about Honors Day and the nomination and induction process for honors societies can be found here. 

“Yea Alabama!” 

Any student granted admittance to The University is expected to learn UA’s fight song during Bama Bound. The song, which was written following UA’s 1926 Rose Bowl victory, is sung alongside the Million Dollar Band every time the Crimson Tide scores at football games. Any UA student worth their mettle commits “Yea Alabama!” to heart by the time they first step into Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

More information about UA traditions can be found here.