Anchors aweigh

Delta Gamma anchor carries traditions for sorority members, hooligans.

For nearly 30 years, the anchor has sat on the lawn of the Delta Gamma sorority. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

The Delta Gamma anchor has been holding down the corner of University Avenue and Columbia Road for nearly 30 years.  It has symbolized pride for some students and a rather shameless tradition for others.

The anchor has sat in front of the UND Delta Gamma house since the late 1980s. According to UND junior and sorority member Natalie Clarno, a member during that decade applied to have the anchor in front of the house.

“The anchor is on loan from the U.S. Navy in times of peace,” Clarno said. “Benda Longtin-Lacher, the mother of a current member of our house, was the one that applied to have the anchor on loan during her term here at Delta Gamma from 1980 to 1984.”

The anchor is the national symbol of the Delta Gamma sorority, which stands for hope. The anchor sits on the lawn of the house as a reminder.

Upon the founding of the sorority, the original logo was just the letter H.

According to Clarno, the symbol was changed to a more intricate symbol — the anchor — which is defined as the biblical symbol for hope.

“When I look outside, I see the anchor as a sign of hope from my house,” sophomore Taylor Perry said. “Every time I see it when I come home it reminds me to do well and not give up.”

To the members of the Delta Gamma house, the anchor reminds them of the value their house was founded on.

Anchor run

To some UND students, the anchor has another meaning: Anchor runs.

Students at UND see the anchor as a way to fulfill a college tradition here on campus.

According to Elle Johnson of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, the anchor run is when people strip down naked, run to the Delta Gamma house, ring the doorbell three times, run three laps around the anchor and return to the starting point.

The women of Delta Gamma do not promote running nude to the anchor, according to UND senior and member Avery Erickson.

“It is funny to be sitting in the house and see random guys running around the lawn. It seems to just be a tradition here,” Clarno said. “That’s not what the anchor is there for by any means, and I dislike the reputation that is brings for the house because we don’t encourage it, but it is entertaining and doesn’t look like it will be stopped anytime soon.”

Completing the anchor run may be a tradition on campus, but it seems to have a deeper meaning to the students who do it.

“Streaking is crazy and doing the anchor run makes for a great story,” fraternity member Ryan Brown said. “People who do it use it as a badge of honor. I have never done it.

“I worry about the legal ramifications that the act comes with and don’t want a college tradition to define my future.”

Brown’s worry is reasonable.

North Dakota Law classifies streaking as indecent exposure, which is a class A misdemeanor.

According to Chapter 12 of the North Dakota Century Code, the maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is a $3,000 fine, one year in jail or both.

Whether it reminds students of the hope  or the tradition of streaking, the anchor seems to be a landmark on UND’s campus.

Erin Cheever is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].