After spending hours in line, waiting to climb the Bell Tower and participate in one of UNC’s Senior Week traditions, one student was kicked out before they could reach the top.
While a security guard wasn’t looking, they risked writing their name on the tower among thousands of other UNC seniors and alumni. Right before they could add "Class of ‘23," a guard caught them and escorted them out.
“This is not a new thing that just happened this year," the student, who chose to remain anonymous, said. "This is something that every senior has done in Carolina for years — decades. I think telling students that they can't partake in this tradition is like telling students not to drink water from the Old Well on the first day of class.”
As part of Senior Week for the class of 2023, the UNC General Alumni Association invited all seniors to climb the tower on Wednesday. Climbing the Bell Tower is a tradition where students venture inside the tower and, historically, leave their mark by signing their names.
However, students were not allowed to leave their signature on the tower this year to preserve the "structural integrity" of the historic building, a message from the GAA said.
“Signing or marking on building surfaces is generally not permitted under the Facilities Use Policy and Standard,” UNC Media Relations said in a statement. “This tradition has not been endorsed by Facilities Services in the past.”
On the way up the tower, the student said they saw three or four names of people they knew who went to the tower that day. Many other seniors were signing their names during this UNC tradition, but this student was just one who got caught doing it.
“I'm sure they want to preserve the building and all that," they said. "I'm sure there are reasons behind it. It's a tough situation, I also get that. But at this point, I'm a senior, I'm ready to get out of here. I've waited my four years, I'm ready to do my tradition.”
After standing in line for two hours, senior media and journalism major Julia Roth was also looking forward to signing her name on the Bell Tower.