The fountain run is—or was—a staple in the USC book of traditions. Thousands of senior Trojans would choose a night during the last two weeks of classes to mob campus, jumping into each of the 30-plus fountains.
The event was not sanctioned by the university and was banned in 2015, to the outcry of many of that year's graduating class. Jess Dillon ('15) felt robbed of an experience she had waited for since freshman year.
"There was this whole thing that if you did the fountain run before your senior year—other than being a caddy for a senior—then you wouldn't graduate," Dillon said.
While online documentation of the unsanctioned and largely uncoordinated event exists circa 2007, the tradition supposedly dates back years earlier.
As told by the USC Digital Folklore Archives, once you are a senior, everyone is allowed to gather, strip down to celebrate their hard work and symbolically wash away the rules and restrictions of their undergraduate careers.
The university cited property damage and student safety as the reason for the cancellation in 2015.
Although the tradition was canceled, various groups at USC made an effort to plan replacement events, such as a "Senior Run" hosted by USC Student Affairs in 2015. However, attempts to come up with a satisfactory replacement have failed.
Despite the attempts, Dillon and other 2015 graduates weren't impressed with the relatively tame successor, and she never attended any of the USC-sponsored senior celebrations established to replace the lost Fountain Run.
This year's version of the event is called "USC Senior Splash," a pool party at the Uytengsu Aquatic Center. The Facebook event advertises, "Music, pool activities, photo booths, games, food, and more!" Currently a meager 72 students are marked to attend the event on Thursday, April 27.
Senior communications major Samantha Doctrow said she won't be attending USC Senior Splash.
"It's just not the same," Doctrow said. "It just isn't as exciting. Fountain Run was fun because it was a USC tradition."
Correction: The original version of this story misstated the date of the Senior Splash. It is on Thursday, April 27, not Friday.