Gators might chomp and the ‘Noles might chop, but we swoop. Every new student Osprey is taught the official UNF cheer — a wing swooping motion — at Orientation (and some even learn when they come for a campus tour) so that they can perform the move at all athletic events, official gatherings, walking through airports or whenever the mood strikes. As part of the orientation program “New to the Nest,” new employees are taught how to swoop by a member of the Admissions Swoop Squad.
The all-sport, all-year athletic rivalry against the Jacksonville University Dolphins started in 2005. The two Division I teams battle for the SunTrust Old Wooden Barrel, which is awarded to the school with the most victories over the other during a school year. Each year, the teams square off 22 times in 14 sports. The current standing for the life of the battle is UNF 4, JU 4 and the teams have tied twice. By the way, no one knows why the trophy is called the Old Wooden Barrel. It was just created to help develop the rivalry between the two institutions.
Lip Sync is an annual Student Government sponsored can’t miss event for students during Homecoming each year. Nearly every club and organization on campus is represented in this karaoke-on-steroids competition. Some years are themed — ’80s music, anyone? — and some are not — but all are great fun with outrageous costumes, colossal props and some pretty amazing dance routines. Winners proudly claim and display their titles as a badge of honor until the next year.
Adopted in 2011, the campus community is asked to wear the school colors each Wednesday to show their Osprey pride. In 2012, it became an official initiative of Student Government and Alumni Services made it one of the 52 things every student should do before he or she graduates.
Begun in 1972 as UNF’s original homecoming, it was a German festival sponsored by Student Government that featured canoe rides, a dunking booth, soccer game, tug-of-war and a 5K race. The festival went defunct for a few years but has been rekindled and is now an important event on the fall calendar, though entirely separate from Homecoming, which takes place in February each year. Homecoming was moved to the middle of basketball season to tie it into those events, as well as give the spring semester a centerpiece event.
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