This year’s t-shirt designs for the longtime tradition ‘The Walk’ may be impacted after years of controversy surrounding the popular event.
T-shirt designs for ‘the walk’ are usually alcohol related to represent the two-mile walk towards Memorial Stadium, in which participants stop at each bar along the way. The level of alcohol consumption is believed to have played a major part in violence and criminal activity in years past.
In Oct. of 2018, Indiana State University’s President, Deborah Curtis, and Terre Haute Mayor, Duke Bennett, pledged to work together to make the event safer. New rules and regulations may have pressured students to put less of an emphasis on drinking when designing their shirts.
Some printing businesses in the area have noticed that this years designs seem to be more subdued.
“We haven’t had any of the typical designs. [We have seen] more trike designs and a few from sororities and fraternities,” said Angie Lemond, Owner of Logo ConnXtion.
Lemond isn’t the only one noticing this trend.
“I’d say the drinking designs are a little bit more subtle than they used to be, ” said Stephanie McKay, Owner of Graphic FX Custom Design and Screenprinting.
Though some groups are choosing adhere to a more family friendly design, some feel that the new rules and regulations will have an adverse effect on the shirts.
“I believe with the addition of the new homecoming rules students may opt into making shirts that will target and blame ISU for taking away the culture of ‘The Walk.’ In recent years, I’ve never seen any issues with shirts that were profane in any way,” said Tavin Emlund, alumnus of ISU.
When asked if he thought there was pressure for students not to use alcohol in the designs due to possible backlash, Emlund replied, “I don’t believe pressure is the right word to use, but I believe a higher risk is possible. Indiana State’s enrollment was up about seven to eight percent as of last year. With more incoming students and transfers, the more people it attracts. The money and exposure to ISU The Walk creates will keep generating more interest to students and parents to attend Indiana State.”
The walk is taking place Saturday, Oct. 12. Participants are encouraged to be cautious and have a safe Homecoming weekend