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Campus Traditions

Alpha Chi Omega Spaghetti Dinner

Established: 1970 - Alpha Chi Omega
The Women's Aid Service of Mount Pleasant receives the profit the women from Alpha Chi Omega raise through an annual spaghetti dinner. During the middle of the fall semester every year since 1970, spaghetti and treats have been on the menu.

Alternative Breaks

Established: 1994
The Volunteer Center has been sending students to volunteer during breaks in the academic year since 1994. Students have traveled to New York City, New Orleans, Brazil, and Detroit to help non-profit agencies with work in education, the environment, HIV/AIDS, and many, many other issues.

Asian Heritage Week

Established: unknown
Asian Heritage Week is a week in which CMU highlights contributions given by certain people of Asian descent. This event takes place every year in the last week of January. A keynote speaker addresses the student body.

Be My Neighbor Day

Established: unknown
This event is associated with Earth Day and promotes volunteerism. There are several volunteer opportunities for students to be involved in, such as a playground project, little league field beautification, and Chippewa River cleanup.

Black History Month

Established: 1976
February is black history month. On-campus, there are several activities honoring the achievements of black leaders.

Cardboard Boat Race

Established: 1998
Held the morning of Homecoming, this event draws quite a crowd to Rose Ponds (near Rose Arena). For a month, students in the Industrial Engineering programs work on building cardboard boats. The morning of Homecoming, they sail the boats across the ponds, and the first team to the other side wins a trophy.

Centralis Competition

Established: 1990
The Centralis Scholarship competition allows students to compete for scholarships that recognize outstanding academic performance. The half-day program also allows students and their parents to become acquainted with CMU's programs and services. When this competition was started, 350 people participated. Now 1,800 outstanding students come to compete!

CMU & You Day

Established: 1973
Held in September each year, this day gives high school juniors and seniors a chance to familiarize themselves with CMU. The event occurs all across campus, with programs being held in 5 buildings: Health Professions, Park Library, Engineering and Technology Building, Music Building, and Bovee University Center. Approximately 3,500 students and their parents now attend.

CMU Pow Wow

Established: unknown
This event brings CMU students and Native Americans together to celebrate spirit and history. Traditional dancing and other activities abound during the celebration.

CMU vs. WMU Blood Drive

Established: 1940's
Each year brings the highly anticipated Central versus Western football game. The rivalry always ends in bloodshed, but for the good of the community. During the week before the game, students at CMU and WMU donate blood to the American Red Cross in a competition to see who can donate the greatest amount. An engraved trophy is awarded to the winning school for display throughout the year.

Connections Conference

Established: 2000 - Leadership Institute/Student Life
The conference was designed by campus student leaders and is held during the second weekend in November. Over 200 student leaders come together for a weekend of discussion and learning.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week

Established: unknown
Several events are held throughout the week to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts to promote equality and tolerance. Traditional activities include the Unity Ball, a formal dinner and dance; the unity march, a march through campus; and the day of service where students give of their time in a project promoting MLK Jr.'s ideals.

Get Acquainted Day

Established: unknown - Minority Student Services

Get Acquainted Day kicks off the school year on the first Wednesday of classes by providing minority students the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, and returning students in a picnic-style atmosphere.

Gentle Thursday & Friday

Established: April 1960 - Program Board
Gentle Thursday & Friday takes place the last Friday of classes before spring exams. The event is held in Warriner Mall. Free food and activities along with music and friends draw students to this exciting event.

Greek Mock Rock

Established: unknown
Months of planning and practicing make this event a must-see. Sororities and Fraternities participate in this competitive event during Greek Week. Lip syncing and dancing are the norms as well as colorful costumes and big smiles.

Greek Week

Established: unknown
During the spring semester, the Greek community shines across campus and Mount Pleasant. Talents in academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activities are put on display throughout the week.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Established: unknown
A month-long celebration starting mid-September through mid-October. Throughout the month, CMU highlights Hispanic contributions to the world.


Established: 1924 - Student Government
In 1924, the Student Government Association established Homecoming, a truly spirited tradition held in October each year. Thousands of alumni return to campus to visit and cheer the football team to glory. Student organizations compete in several activities for the coveted Maroon Cup throughout the week leading up to Homecoming weekend.

Honors Program

Established: 1961
Established in 1961 as one of the first such programs in Michigan, CMU's nationally recognized Honors Program provides an academic challenge for the university's outstanding students. CMU's Honors Programs brings together a community of outstanding students, scholars, professors, and researchers who will inspire and encourage you to become your best - throughout your college years and beyond.


Established: 2000 - Leadership Institute/Student Life
LeaderShape is a national leadership program that is now available at over 60 universities nationwide. It is a weeklong program held the week after graduation in May. Student leaders come together to learn how to evaluate themselves as leaders.

Leadership Camp

Established: 1998 - Office of Residence Life
High school seniors that are going to attend CMU in the fall have the opportunity to participate in Leadership Camp. During this three-day camp in May, facilitators lead students through group activities and challenges.

Leadership Safari

Established: 1998 - Office of Residence Life
Held the week prior to the beginning of the fall semester, this four-day program helps incoming students enhance their leadership skills and prepare them for a college lifestyle. Motivational speakers provide the theme for group sessions, workshops, and social activities that ask students to "Accept the Challenge".

Legends of the Dark Tour

Established: 1995 - Residence Life
Allison Batdorf, a student, and Resident Assistant organized the original Legends tour in 1995. The tour was so wildly successful that it has continued over the years. Every year the tour is paid for through generous donations and support from the Residence Hall Assembly (RHA), various Hall Councils, and individual contributions. The tour is a haunting tale of true CMU stories with a twist. They are held each year on October 30, last approximately twenty minutes, and go all over the north side of campus.


Established: 2000
This annual event takes place the Sunday prior to the first week of classes. Student organizations and campus departments are on hand to welcome students back to campus. The event is organized through the Office of Student Life with Program Board and On The Fly Productions providing entertainment. The event concludes with a huge outdoor concert, free to all students.

Merrill Hall Block Party

Established: 1994 - Merrill Hall Council
Get hotdogs, hamburgers, and a great time at this traditional event held in the middle of April. A dunk tank and other amusements have also been present over the past few years.

Native American Month

Established: unknown
Native American Month occurs in November. CMU celebrates its relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe during this month and offers a variety of events for students so they can gain a better understanding of the Chippewa culture.

New Student Empowerment Conference

Established: unknown
This is a conference held the Friday before classes start to assist new minority students with utilizing many resources at CMU. It also allows students to meet faculty, staff, and administration who are concerned with their academic success.

Say Hey Week

Established: 2000 - Student Government/Residence Hall Assembly
CMU is known as one of the friendliest campuses in the Midwest, and Say Hey Week celebrates that distinction. The weeklong event features community-wide discounts, giveaways, and events.

Sibs & Kids Weekend

Established: 1963 - Larzelere Hall Council
Traditionally held the second weekend in February, Siblings Weekend brings thousands of CMU siblings to campus. They can take part in a variety of different activities including a carnival, different entertainment acts, and the excitement of living in the residence halls.

Sober in October

Established: 1999 - Residence Hall Assembly
Held for the entire month of October, Residence Hall Assembly (RHA) holds events all month long for those who agree to sign a pledge to live October alcohol-free.

Special Olympics Summer Games

Established: 1975
Mount Pleasant is the location of the State Special Olympics Headquarters. CMU has hosted the state summer Olympic games since 1975 and has even been the host of the national and international summer games. The games are held the last week in May and the first week in June each year.


Established: unknown
Stepping is a high-energy rhythmic performance that uses hands and feet to create a beat. StepShow's originated in South Africa to celebrate a birth or a wedding.

Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition (SRCEE)

Established: unknown
This fair is typically held in March. Students can display the research projects they have been working on during the semester. It is a chance to acknowledge those students who have done outstanding works in their field of study.

Take Back the Night

Established: 1980
Since 1980, students have been holding this event to fight against sexual assault and domestic violence. Men and women from across campus gather to march, demonstrate, and support each other in the effort to eradicate violence and abuse.

Unified Holiday Celebration

Established: unknown
This event gives students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to celebrate many different religious and cultural holidays. Held in late fall, the celebration promotes a greater understanding of religion, faith, and culture.

United Way Drive

Established: unknown
CMU runs a United Way donation drive throughout the academic year.

Wares Fair

Established: 1970 - CM Life
This event was created to expose the students to what retailers in Mount Pleasant have to offer as students settle into their new homes. This also allows retailers the opportunity to display their merchandise and give away samples. The event typically takes place the first Wednesday after Labor Day.

Welcome Week

Established: 1970
Held the first week of school in the fall semester, CMU Welcome Week provides students with an opportunity to get better acquainted with the university. There are numerous activities that include recreational programming, residence hall activities, and educational seminars.