Mines Madness: Traditions and events all academic year long

As all freshmen will learn shortly here at Mines, college is a whole different animal compared to high school.
The academics are stepped up a notch, but so are the out-of-classroom events. There is a mentality at Mines of “work hard, play hard,” and this institution has a plethora of events for students to play hard. The following are some of the most notable:

E-Days: First and foremost on any Oredigger’s mind is E-Days, short for “Engineering Days”. E-Days started out as a career fair in the early 1930s. The students who helped start it wanted an event to showcase their engineering talents to potential employers and each other. Over the years it has evolved into a celebration of all things Mines.

A typical E-Days, which usually occurs in early April, kicks off with a hilarious comedy show. In the past, comedians like Adam Hunter, Alexandra McHale, and Owen Smith (from the show “Everybody Hates Chris”) have performed in front on a large crowd in Bunker Auditorium. This is followed by a casino night and poker tournament.

The next day, Friday, which is a school holiday, starts off in the morning with an Ore Cart pull that eventually ends up at the State Capitol. Chipotle is served to all participating students, T-shirts are handed out, and the governor gives his annual E-Days proclamation. That evening events have historically included a laser light show, band showcases and a DJ dance party.

Other hits of E-Days include the Carnival on Saturday. From free lunch to inflatable novelties like the Velcro wall and the bungee race, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! The carnival also includes events like a trebuchet contest, burro races, and carnival games hosted by student organizations. Additionally, a cardboard canoe race down Clear Creek is always held on E-Days weekend.

Saturday’s climax, however, is the concert. The concert is typically performed by a high-energy, well-known band in the field house and is usually a hit with the student population.
We’ve had the likes of Blink 182, Seven Mary Three, Unwritten Law, Everclear, and Flogging Molly. More recently we’ve hosted Goldfinger, I Hate Kate, Tech N9ne, and Less Than Jake.
The festivities wrap up on Saturday night with an explosive fireworks show. Students, staff, faculty and Golden residents pack the intramural field for a fireworks display you’ll never forget!

M-Climb: It is not every day that people get to interact with 100-year-old artifacts, but at the very beginning of college, every Mines freshman will. On the day before classes begin, freshmen embark on a journey up Mount Zion to the “M”, the school emblem which can be seen for miles when it is lit up at night.

There is a little preparation needed to take part in this rite of passage, though: all incoming students are asked to bring a 10 pound rock from their hometown.

Freshman carry these rocks and wear their class-issued school hard hats as they hike up the mountain. At various points along the way, students get snacks and refreshments from upper-class students in student organizations. It’s also a great time for students to learn the school fight song, as it’s sung the entire way up the mountain.

Eventually, the experience concludes at the top when every freshman arrives with rock in hand. The rocks are placed on the “M” and barrels of whitewash are brought out. From here, a giant whitewash fight amongst the freshman class ensues which is visible down below in Golden. Students dip their hard hats into the whitewash barrels to paint the rocks as well as their classmates. After the whitewash runs out, the class is taken back down the mountain on buses to continue on with their introduction to Mines.

The circle of life is completed every spring during graduation when the graduating seniors go back up the mountain to take a rock back down with them as a symbol of their completion of college.

Homecoming: Incoming students have seen homecoming on the high school level, but the festival is grander on the college stage. While an important home football game is a cornerstone of every homecoming celebration, the college level includes a parade celebrating the alumni coming back to Mines.

But there is more to the festival than these finale events. In addition to the Homecoming parade and football game on Saturday, there are other various events on Friday and Saturday including Powder Puff football, a concert, and a tailgate.

Winter Carnival: One of the big advantages of going to Mines, besides its top notch college education, is its proximity to the mountains. Hikers gets to enjoy this advantage during the spring, summer, and fall while the skiers and snowboarders have the time of their lives every winter.

Every ski season, the Blue Key organization on campus organizes a day of skiing and snowboarding at one of Colorado’s renowned slopes, Eldora Ski Resort.

Hitting the slopes can be a costly endeavor, especially on a college budget, so the organization sells tickets to students for the carnival at a fraction of the retail price.

The carnival includes transportation to and from the resort for all participating students, a free lunch, and team events such as snow football and human bowling. Students even receive a T-shirt commemorating the event, as is the case at many school events. College students can never have enough spare clothing.

Sorority and Fraternity Recruitment: Every year, the Greek houses on campus hold a recruitment week to replenish the house after graduating seniors have left. The fraternities and sororities will hold recruitment activities the first week of classes. Events include opportunities for new students to meet the current members (game nights, house tours, meals, etc.). Over the past 5 years, there have been an average of 130 students that join the Greek Community in the fall. Currently 14% of the campus is a member of the CSM Greek Community.

Parents Weekend: The first weekend in November, Mines will be hosting a time for parents to come to campus and visit their students to see how everything is coming along in their college experience. Weekend activities include tours of the different centers on campus, a comedy show, a reception and concert, and a home football game.

Movie Nights: Each week the Mines Activities Council (MAC) shows a movie on campus. It is typically a recent movie that is just about to be released on DVD. The movies are free and students are served complimentary popcorn and 50 cent sodas. The movies act as a great break from studying.

Friday Afternoon Club: Every other Friday, MAC brings in an act, typically a comedian, to start off the weekend the right way for students. Many of the comedians have appeared on television in some capacity and perform for an entire hour starting at 5:00 PM. Students are served complimentary food and beverages during the performance. A few of the comedians have become big after visiting Mines, including Josh Blue, the winner of Season 4 of “Last Comic Standing”, and Dane Cook.

Off Campus Activities: There is a lot going on in the city of Denver and MAC encourages its students to go out and visit the city by selling discounted tickets to students for various events. In the past, MAC has offered tickets to performances at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Avalanche games, Rockies games, and a cooking class, all at a discounted price.

WAM (Weekends at Mines): Don’t leave campus every weekend: there are many things to do on campus and in the Golden area! The “Weekends at Mines” (WAM) program provides great options including concerts, tickets to local events, game nights, and unique events such as Spudlympics, live Battleship and pre-finals Moonlight Breakfasts. Watch for postings for WAM events throughout the year.

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