The University of Michigan has been home to a range of student traditions, including the superstitious—don’t step on the bronze “M” in the diag!—and the silly—including a student carnival featuring obstacle courses and the transport of a 400-pound rock by a group of unlucky freshmen.

Take a visual tour of both old and ongoing campus traditions. And be sure to check out a new tradition LSA is starting next week in honor of Homecoming and our favorite campus pets: Scatterhoard: A U-M Squirrel Quest.

In 1908, “pushball” was introduced as an alternative to some of the more dangerous expressions of rivalry between schools or classes, such as kidnapping, hair cutting, and hiring sharpshooters to remove rival emblems from the top of the flagpole. Pushball contests were traditionally held on Ferry Field.

The inter-class carnivals that began in the 1910s included various competitions such as the obstacle course (pictured above), and a contest in which the freshmen had to place a 400-pound rock somewhere on campus between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. while the sophomores stood guard.

If a couple kisses underneath the West Hall engineering arch at midnight, the story goes, they will eventually get married.

Stepping on the bronze “M” in the diag before taking your first exam will make you fail that exam and, perhaps, the class. To reverse your error? At the first stroke of midnight, run from LSA’s Museum of Natural History to the bell tower and back before the final chime sounds.

Students have had a long history of creating the Block “M.” This one comes from the 1920 Junior Hop—or J-Hop—which began in 1872 and was one of the most popular social events on campus. The J-Hop ended its run in 1960.

The rock commemorated George Washington’s 200th birthday until the mid-1950s, when Michigan State fans painted “M.S.U.” on it. The offending letters were scrubbed off, repainted, and finally covered over again with more paint—an act that kicked off the tradition of painting and repainting the rock (often even before the existing paint dries).

As this old postcard attests, squirrels and their behavior have long been a source of fascination on campus. Many consider them campus pets. They are cute and fuzzy, and—because they don’t hibernate—they’re always around.