Winter has returned to campus and with it one of UR’s traditions — traying on the hill behind Sue B. For years, undergrads have “borrowed” trays from Danforth and sledded with them on the hill behind the building.
“It is a behavior of students as long as I’ve been here and long before that because there’ve been hills and snow much longer than that,” Walter Mauldin, Director of UR Security, said.
Like some other UR traditions, traying is not too legit. While there isn’t a policy specifically preventing sledding, UR security officers are told to instruct students to stop sledding when they see them. If students don’t follow the instructions, they can face disciplinary action for failing to comply with a university official.
“If we see students traying on the hill, we ask them to stop,” Mauldin said. “It is from a safe practices stand-point [because students are engaging in an] at-risk behavior.”
Mauldin said that is an issue of student safety because he has seen a large amount of injuries in his years at UR.
“It isn’t too safe,” he said. “Some students fall off the trays and some slide down the hill and run into something at the bottom of it.”
Sophomore Will Barker and a group of his friends had a run in with security last Monday night while traying with a group of other students.
As security approached, the other students ran away except for Barker and his friends. The officers took Barker’s and his friends’ names, confiscated their trays and asked them not to tray again.
“They said it was a safety risk and we shouldn’t be stealing trays.”
One past risk-taker is none other than Vice President Paul Burgett.
“I [sledded] as an Eastman School of Music student in the 1960s, on a visit to campus one cold winter’s day,” he said.
Burgett remembered lining up a row of trays and sliding down the hill with a bunch of his friends like a train.
“Seeing the overhang [of Sage] coming rapidly toward me, we all just leaned back,” he said. “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but that’s the truth. That’s what we did.
“Clearly it was memorable to me,” he concluded.