Many students, especially freshmen, are careful to avoid stepping on the lancer emblem on the floor of the gym hallway, unless they have earned a varsity letter. The emblem was put in place as a gift from East’s class of 1964. Although many may not take the time to look at it closely as they step around, jump over or walk across it, the image depicts a lancer facing east under a banner saying “si qua via est.” This means “on the east side” in Latin.
According to psychology and government teacher Nick Paris, as well as athletic director Gayle O’Grady, it has been a tradition not to step on the seal ever since it was put in. Only varsity letterwinners and seniors have ever been allowed to walk across the seal.
At first this expectation was taken more seriously than it is now, as some students do not know the tradition or just choose not to follow it.
“I guess it’s kind of a fun tradition to not step on it but I step on it anyways,” said junior Laura Fredrick.
The class of ’64 wanted to donate the emblem as something to remember them by, because at that point in time they were the largest class ever to graduate from East. And even if not everyone follows the rules as to whether or not they can step on it, the emblem is still a prominent image in the gym hallway. It is something everyone will probably have noticed at least once in their four years of high school, even if they are not religious followers of the emblem’s tradition.