Changes announced for MU tradition

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COLUMBIA - UM officials announced Friday seniors will no longer be given alcohol at Senior Send-off.

"This is a very short-lived tradition by the standards of a university like Mizzou, which is 175-years-old," Loftin said. "[This decision] reflects the times we're in and sends the right message. It shows people that Mizzou is a place where we can have fun, but we're here to educate our students, do outstanding research, and serve our state and our nation in so many ways. Why let something detract from that image?"

According to Mizzou Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin, in years prior, alcohol distribution was controlled it with a coupon seniors recieved when they checked into the event after showing the necessary identification. They then went to a station where they exchanged the coupon for a beer.

McCubbin said the event happened for around 20 years, but did not always include alcohol. He said the event is multifaceted and designed to give the new graduates closure. As freshmen, students run through The Columns towards Jesse Hall during Tiger Walk. Upon graduation, they reverse their tracks through the The Columns again in an event called the Tiger Prowl.
It will occur on Thursday, May 7, from 4-6 p.m. McCubbin said following Tiger Prowl, there will be soda, hot dogs and live entertainment at Traditions Plaza. He explained the shift was made over worries of misguided focus and not because of alcohol-fueled incidents at past Senior Send-offs.

"We evaluate every year, and the last several years we've had some concerns about this may be losing focus about what this is all about, it became more about having a beer than having a nice event for graduates," McCubbin said. "I think traditions change all of the time."

McCubbin said 500 seniors have preregistered to attend, and expects about 500 more to join in on the day of the occasion.

"What I've always said in my current and past positions, where there's also a lot of traditions, is that these are things that are wonderful to celebrate and they emphasis the fellowship and bond we have together at a university like this, but they change and evolve," Loftin said.

MU students were unhappy with the change.

"Mizzou has always been a family affair for me," sophomore history major Will Cooper said. "My father graduated from here. I've had several cousins and, most recently, my older sister graduate from the University of Missouri as well. So if they are to take away this right of passage, students like myself will feel cheated out of a Mizzou tradition."

Senior Krista Carg said she felt cheated.

"It's kind of upsetting to see old traditions leave right as I'm the age to participate in them," she said. "I was looking forward to it." 

Editors note: This article has been changed to fix a minor gramatical error.