The 22nd annual West Chester University Banana Day, a student tradition that takes place in the spring, came to campus on Wednesday, April 18. Students gathered around the Academic Quad, Residential Quad, Sykes Student Union, Student Recreation Center and the Swope Music Building to enjoy the festivities.
Banana Day is a traditional event for WCU students to help relieve stress before final exams by doling out more than 3,000 bananas around campus. This year’s event also stressed sustainability. The aftermath of the banana peels will be used as compost to create healthy snacks.
Banana Day was founded by WCU native Rudy Tellez in 1996, who organized the distribution of thousands of bananas across campus as a way to celebrate WCU spirit. “I was waiting for something to leave a legacy on the campus because I love West Chester University so much. I wanted to create a day that people are going to enjoy, have fun, love each other and just celebrate,” said Tellez.
Banana Day began at 5:15 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center. Many students gathered together with the help of CBS3 Philly in kicking off the start of WCU’s tradition. Upon walking in to the Recreation Center, students were dressed in banana and gorilla-themed costumes. The rock wall was filled with bananas in several crevices. A student dressed in a banana costume stood on the highest point of the rock wall and danced for everyone. Students began cheering for CBS3 reporter Pat Gallen as he climbed up the rock wall. The WCU alumnus enjoyed the early morning school spirit activities with students. WCU student Katie Coyle showed Gallen how to do the banana toss with other students in the background doing the toss as well.
Students were encouraged to join in on all games, food and go bananas with competing to win the most desirable t-shirt—only a limited edition of them were created for this event.
Shortly after 6 a.m. in the Recreation Center, students began breaking into groups to play different games such as the banana toss, frisbee toss and other activities while competing for the coveted t-shirts.
The second set of events began around 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Academic Quad. Students were seen doing the long banana toss with friends and corn hole. Dressed in their banana costumes, individuals walked around the quad while passing out bananas to faculty and students.
The spring tradition was featured on CBS3 Philly, 6ABC, PHL17 and the Daily Local News. The nationally awarded “best campus tradition” continues to unite students and others together with enjoyable and competitive games before finals.
“This will be a great way to unite the campus,” said Tellez. Indeed it was when WCU’s tradition became known as the first-place winner in the National Association competition for “Your Best Campus Tradition and Activities.”
Jennifer Odiatu is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. ✉ JO820471@wcupa.edu.