Smashing a car at Sti-Yu-Ka
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A photograph of Springfield College students smashing a car with sledgehammers, one of many activities or games (though no longer) for students to participate in during Sti-Yu-Ka. The photograph shows two men swinging sledgehammers at a the hood of a car. A group of students surround them, yelling encouragement. Sti-Yu-Ka, a well known tradition at Springfield College, started as a variety of activities planned in celebration on the eve of Stepping Up Day, Springfield College’s way of marking the academic accomplishments of students as members of each class advance a year in their college careers. It is held during the end of the school year. Sti-Yu-Ka was founded in 1961 by Dr. Irving Conrad, then president of the Student Government Association. The name Sti-Yu-Ka seems to have come from the Springfield College club Hosaga, a club that performed Native American traditional ceremonial dances and songs. The name seems to have come from a dance that was performed on the eve of the achievement of adulthood and meant “The Coming of Age,” an appropriate name for an event on the eve of Stepping Up Day.At the time of its creation, Sti-Yu-Ka events started on Saturday at around 1 p.m. and went until the late night/early morning hours on Sunday. Conrad tried to create events that would take the focus away from alcohol. Such activities included a pig roast, canoe races, pie eating contests, square dancing, egg tossing, Jell-O wrestling, roller skating, a greased pig chase, fireworks on Rally Hill, and even the act of smashing a car. However, drinking did become a part of these activities and over the years the Office of Student Affairs increased the official Sti-Yu-Ka events from one weekend to one week, its present length. Again, this was done in an effort to keep students on campus doing activities that were social in nature, and to allow students to spend time with their peers and to try not to focus on alcohol. Although new events are thrown into the lineup, some staple events that have remained as Sti-Yu-Ka tradition over the years are the comedian on opening night, the Campus Activities Board’s Midnight Bingo, Residence Life’s Taste of SC, and the Greased Pole Climb and Oatmeal Pass.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
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