By Christine Kelly, Staff Writer

Some campuses call it “The Spirit Rock,” while others call it “Big Rock” and some just call it “The Rock,” but almost every college campus has one. Here at BU, ours is affectionately known as the “BU Rock.” Although many a night you may pass by this BU tradition and see some pledges guarding it, there are those rare nights when the BU Rock is unguarded and up for grabs. This week, I finally saw my chance to leave my paint mark and I took it.

The BU Rock resides on the BU Beach and is often a stop for most admission tours. Flashback to me as a lowly high school senior on the east coast for the first time visiting BU’s campus. I distinctly remember seeing this rock and our tour guide saying that the rock has been painted so many times that in the summer you can push your finger into it.

Painting the BU Rock is a tradition that most fraternities, sororities and some clubs participate in.  Often it is decorated with the group’s colors, letters and acronyms.

The first step: buying the actual paint. I took a trip down to Blick near South Campus and perused the aisles until I found the cages of spray paint. Protip, don’t go to Blick on a Sunday night—the line goes for miles.

I knew from my friends that the hardest part was not going to be painting the rock. The hardest part was finding a time the rock was not occupied. My first attempt went sour at the sight of fraternity brothers twice my size already painting the rock.

On Saturday night, I brought my two of my friends from a club I’m in, the BU Filipino Student Association, to the BU Rock with spray cans in hand. I figured the best way to welcome them into the BUFSA family is by making a new memory. I wish someone had taken me freshman year to the paint the rock.

I picked blue and red spray paint because those colors look good together and they’re the colors of the Filipino flag. Then I also picked black because it is a universal color that I figure stands out on rock.

It took us about 40 minutes in the cold windy night to paint the entire rock—and let me tell you that painting a rock in the dark with just an iPhone light is pretty hard. I inhaled clouds of paint fumes and got paint on part of my hand but it was all worth it.

It doesn’t really matter what the rock looks like. I honestly didn’t know what we were going to paint until we got there. But the act of legal vandalism was definitely worth the thrill and the group bonding.  I think each group’s experience with the rock may vary, but I know we all secretly want to do it.

Leave my mark on the BU Rock? Check.