Just before midnight on August 28, wolverines met in the courtyard for the traditional ritual of inducting themselves into the clan: kissing at the waterfall to become True Wolverines. An estimated 1,000 people attended.
That number is up from about 200 people at each True Wolverine over the past few years. UVUSA scheduled the event to go until 1 a.m., but extended until 1:30 because of the amount of people eager to join in on the tradition.
To become a True Wolverine, one must kiss someone in front of the waterfall in the courtyard at midnight on a specific night. The kissers get their picture taken, which they receive with the official sanction.
To make sure nothing inappropriate happens, Jensen Astle, fine arts chair of UVUSA, was on kissing patrol. She would kick anyone off the kissing block if it went on too long, if there was too much skin-on-skin contact, or too much tongue.
This was her fifth year on duty, and this year she didn’t have to awkwardly tap people on the shoulder to encourage them to move along as much. This was the first year with a photographer, so kissers had a couple extra seconds before Astle moved in to bounce the lingerers.
Last night was Andrew Brown and Eric Layland’s first True Wolverine experience, and they did it together. They have been dating for over a year – Brown a junior at UVU and Layland a Brigham Young University graduate.
“My legs were shaking,” said Brown. “We were way nervous.”
Their kiss, the only True Wolverine kiss between a same-sex couple at the event, received the longest and loudest cheer of the night.
“I feel like I’m part of this campus. I’m so happy. Did you hear everybody? That was so heartwarming,” said Brown. “It was very validating for me.”
Even though lots of people willingly acknowledge that this is more about kissing random hotties than school spirit, it really is about getting involved on the campus. Out of the 1,000 in attendance, only an estimated 230 people kissed.
Plenty of people, like Alaina Garcia and Elizabeth Christensen, were there because Garcia’s sister brought them.
Along with the creative kisses, like someone bending over backwards to kiss Spiderman-style, which really did happen, between some couples and some strangers, True Wolverine is about getting involved and socializing.
And, of course, eating ice cream.
“Ice cream is the top priority,” said Sarah Roberts.
The ice cream brought Roberts, Glenn Daniels and their friends to the event.
“Totally here for the ice cream,” said Daniels.
And sure, kissing random hotties.
Tiffany is the Deputy Managing Editor for Spring 2015. Follow her on twitter @tiffany_mf