Banana Day is one of West Chester University's wackiest and most well-loved campus traditions. But how did this bizarre springtime festivity come to be?
End-of-semester stress is common among college students. Often, students and staff don't know how to keep spirits high during this time. As a member of the residence hall association, student activities council, and student government association VP, senior Rodolfo "Rudy" Téllez '96 was well-attuned to the attitudes of his peers. He was searching for a way to promote health and wellness during this time. His idea? A day of fun-filled activities and the distribution of 3,000 bananas as part of the annual Wellness Day during Spring Weekend.
Why bananas, you may ask. Téllez cites his inspiration as the iconic UC Santa Barbara banana slugs tee worn by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. And thus, the t-shirt competition became an integral part of the celebration.
After Téllez graduated, the holiday was almost lost to campus lore. However, his fellow communications major Robert Perino '98 decided to bring it back. When Téllez came back to WCU and became resident director of Killinger Hall in 2000, he worked to ensure that the holiday was here to stay.
And thus, Banana Day at West Chester University was born! This year will be the 26th annual celebration, which happens every third Wednesday of April.