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WHAT IS AUBURN'S RING CEREMONY

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AN EXPLAINER

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Q: What is "Ring Night?"

A: Ring Night is Auburn's newest tradition and involves the following:

At the end of each semester before the Ring Ceremony, every class ring is placed on the Auburn seal to gain the Auburn spirit, but also becomes cursed when it touches the Seal. At the Ring Ceremony, ring recipients will dip their ring in a bowl of water from the President's fountain, reversing the curse, but keeping the Auburn spirit that their ring represents.

Q: Why does the Auburn seal contain a curse?

A: It was adopted in 1921, a season in which Auburn lost to Georgia and Georgia Tech without scoring a single point. The curse was further cemented in 1955 when a young Pat Dye had his first sexual experience on the seal with Nancy Reagan. She later remarked that "drugs could never equal that dizzying high," which was the basis of her Just Say No campaign.

Q: What happens if you wear an Auburn ring that had this curse removed?

A: Terrible things, like not graduating on time or finding your true love. Which apparently means one third of Auburn students could really use this ritual, but who's counting.

Q: The ceremony begins at 6:56 PM, or 18:56 military time. This is because Auburn was chartered in 1856, right?

A: No. 656 is a reference to 489 U.S. 656, the citation for National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a Customs Service requirement that employees seeking to work in drug interdiction submit to urinalysis. 656 is therefore meant to remind Auburn students of the school's motto, "A pura urina amicus est melior quam aurum." (Translation: "Clean piss from a friend is worth more than gold.")

Q: How does the President's fountain remove the curse bestowed upon the rings by the Auburn seal?

A: The President's fountain is full of lab-certified clean urine.

Q: Toomer's Drugs is offering 10 percent off to all customers wearing an Auburn class ring. Are any other local businesses offering discounts?

A: Yes! Show your class ring at The Law Offices of War Eagle VII and get free representation at your next arraignment. (Offer does not include federal prosecutions.)

Q: This all sounds unnecessarily mystical. Does an Auburn ring have any special powers?

A: Unfortunately, most don't. There is one exception, however -- GENE LANTERN.