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Editorial: Unofficial unites students at home and abroad

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Editorial: Unofficial unites students at home and abroad

Unofficial participants walk down Green Street in search of fun and festivities on last March.

Unofficial participants walk down Green Street in search of fun and festivities on last March.

Sonny An | Assistant photo editor

Unofficial participants walk down Green Street in search of fun and festivities on last March.

Sonny An | Assistant photo editor

Sonny An | Assistant photo editor

Unofficial participants walk down Green Street in search of fun and festivities on last March.

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

Over the years, the University’s Unofficial festivities have gained some notoriety across the country. Students can be spotted sporting green shirts and red cups, arrests skyrocket and irresponsibility is at an all-time high.

Admittedly, Unofficial may not be the day when University students are looking their most impressive, successful or intelligent. But it is a day that students should be proud of because it is one of the biggest uniting factors for Illini students.

The greatest thing about Unofficial is that it is all-inclusive. Because of how diverse our students are, we often find ourselves divided on this campus — by city, by fraternities or sororities, by majors, by RSO … you get the picture. Most of the time, that’s fantastic. Our diverse interests make us special.

But they also mean that we often don’t see ourselves as one cohesive student body. Unofficial smudges all those dividing lines (with the help of kegs, eggs and an overwhelming supply of green T-shirts).

Maybe you’re part of the hip Urbana scene, maybe you’re a frat star or maybe you’ve been stuck in Grainger for the last few months. No matter what, on this day, each and every one of us is welcome to participate in the shenanigans, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. On this day, green is the new orange and blue.

Whether we like it or not, Unofficial is a part of the University’s legacy across the state, the nation and, I kid you not, the world. Roughly 3,700 miles from here, roughly 300 Illini studying abroad will be heading to Dublin this weekend, drinking Guinness at 10 a.m. and paying homage to their alma mater. 

After years of green-clad University students flooding the streets of Dublin over Unofficial weekend, the Irish bartenders are even familiar with the holiday. Just wrap your head around that for a second. Our ridiculous drinking holiday has become an international event. That is insanely cool.

Of course, what we should be most proud of at the University is our amazing education, our groundbreaking research and our prestigious alumni. But being proud of this day, which unites Illini near and far, isn’t bad either.

In all likelihood, we will one day look back fondly on the Unofficials we experienced and remember how great it was to celebrate together as students of the University.

Be proud of Unofficial. It may not be the moment we all want to be remembered for, but it is a day that we will all want to remember for years to come.

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