The junior class tradition Hey Day will take place in person on Oct. 13 for the Class of 2022 after it was postponed from the spring.
The tradition, which typically occurs in April, was moved to the fall by the 2022 Class Board in the hopes of holding it in person. On Hey Day, juniors wear red shirts and hats, called skimmers, and carry canes as they proceed down Locust Walk to College Green, where Penn President Amy Gutmann pronounces them seniors.
2022 Class Board President and College senior Sam Strickberger said that this year’s Hey Day will be like a typical one in all respects, including shirts, skimmers, and canes. Strickberger added that students may be required to wear masks depending on the state of COVID-19 at the time, but no requirement is currently planned.
The event will begin with a picnic at 10:30 a.m. and will transition to the procession down Locust Walk at 12 p.m., according to an email Strickberger sent to the senior class on Wednesday evening.
Strickberger wrote in the email that the timing was "not ideal — on several levels", adding that the Class Board had had many discussions with administrators, campus partners, and stakeholders, but found Oct. 13 to be the only viable date. He previously wrote in an email to the senior class on Sept. 6 that Hey Day would be held in "early fall."
Strickberger said the Class Board finalized plans to hold an event in person this summer after the University announced a vaccine requirement for the fall semester.
“It's super exciting that the Class of 2022 is able to bring back Hey Day in-person, on-campus, Penn’s most iconic tradition,” Strickberger said. “People know the hats, the canes, the shirts, so it's very exciting.”
The 2021 Class Board held the most recent Hey Day virtually in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 and the evacuation of campus. It was the first time Hey Day had not taken place in person since World War II.
Seniors expressed excitement about Hey Day, and agreed that the postponement from the spring was worth having the tradition in person.
College senior Abigail Metzler said that she thinks postponing Hey Day to ensure an in person event was the right move, comparing the decision to the 2021 Class Board’s moving of Feb Club to April Club.
Metzler said that while she was excited to have Hey Day in person, she worries that potential restrictions, such as social distancing or required masking, might dampen the celebration. She said she hopes that because everyone will be required to be vaccinated, Hey Day will proceed entirely normally.
“I definitely think it's great, and hopefully it gives us a chance to do something in person, since it's been a year and a half,” Metzler said.
Wharton senior Jessica Shen bought her tickets the day they went on sale. Shen said she was excited to have the cane, hat, and T-shirt and to participate in a normal Hey Day.
Shen said that because of Penn’s vaccination requirement and because the event takes place outside, she is not concerned about the spread of COVID-19.
“I think it's awesome that they're putting Hey Day in-person again because it's part of the Penn tradition, so I'm really glad that we get that experience,” Shen said.