What were once customs at universities — mass kissing, random kissing, circle kissing, organized kissing, even mass random organized circle kissing — are slowly falling out of fashion, fading into the obscurity of history. It is a sad day for all when such things are lost.
After some interest last week in Stanford’s annual mono-giving ritual, USA Today reports that many American colleges have also had and lost kissing traditions. Drake University once had a kissing rock, but everyone forgot where it was. Wake Forest University hosted an event called “Pledge Night,” which everyone just called “Kiss Night,” that has faded from popularity owing to health concerns (mainly of the alcohol variety). Wake Forest sophomore Kelly Guin confirms that people used to get totally wild:
I only kissed about eight people as a freshman because I was just getting over the flu… I know a senior who estimates she kissed about 50 people her Pledge Night.
But don’t think that it’s all just fun and making out. It can be a really beautiful thing. Stanford junior Lauren Miller:
The beauty of Stanford is that most administrators are willing to let the rather unique Stanford traditions continue if safety is prioritized. There have definitely been significant achievements in reducing alcohol-related dangers of the event, which is no small feat when considering thousands of college students are congregating in one spot.
Oh, and there were also rumors of terrible consequences for nonparticipants. The Ohio University kissing circle was a very superstitious ritual: If a girl in the circle refused to kiss, reportedly, lightning would strike a campus building. Wonder how that rumor was invented.