Earlier this month we posted a blog about some USC traditions that permeate our campus throughout the years. One of the most visible traditions is happening right now on campus. This week is rivalry week which means that USC will take on our cross-town rivals, UCLA, this Saturday in football. Rivalry week is a week-long celebration of Trojan pride which includes Conquest, a pep-rally, carnival, and concert on the Thursday before the game. This year, you will also find the USC Helenes, the official hostesses of the university, camped out in front of Tommy and Hecuba –two of USC’s most notable statues. Read on to hear from them and why they chose to sleep outside all week.
It’s Conquest week at USC, and the campus is gearing up for one of the most anticipated football games of the season! People are playing Tusk on repeat and getting ready for the big Conquest concert on Thursday!
But others on campus are preparing for conquest in a different way. The USC Helenes have set up camp around Hecuba and Tommy, standing guard 24/7. Wait what? Yes, this university organization has volunteered their time to protect USC’s beloved statues from vandalism in case the Bruins decide to try any funny business. As a member of the Helenes myself, I was very excited to partake in this tradition and camp outside with the other members of the organization.
First, let’s start of with some FAQs:
What is the USC Helenes?
We are USC’s oldest women’s service organization. We are the official Hostesses of USC, so we do service like this [guarding Hecuba and Tommy] for the university, as well as working at the career fairs, USC events, and service projects in the LA community.
Why are you guys camped next to Tommy and Hecuba?
The week before the UCLA game is Conquest and Rivalry Week. As such all of the important statues on campus are wrapped or boxed (Tommy, Hecuba, Traveler, George Tirebiter), and the USC Helenes are guarding Tommy and Hecuba in case the Bruins try any funny business.
What kind of funny business?
In years past, UCLA actually stole Tommy’s sword so many times that it it’s not bronze anymore. It’s actually wooden. There haven’t been many attempts recently, but we will certainly be there to thwart them if they are.
Are you really out there all night?
Yes. We have different shifts so we can switch out and go to class, but there are at least two Helenes at Hecuba and Tommy at any given point in the day. Or night.
So, Rivalry Week has begun, and the Helenes have begun sleeping outside to protect our beloved Tommy and Hecuba. We keep a 24/7 watch all the way up until the UCLA game on Saturday. It’s a wonderful experience, and truly makes one feel closer to the university. Guarding Tommy and Hecuba is so much fun because we’re doing something special for the university and having a lot of fun doing it. We hang out, guard the statues, and it’s like one week-long sleepover!
Enjoy Conquest this week! Fight on, and beat the Bruins!
BY: Alex M. Peters ’20
You can find more student written blogs at Trojans 360.