BEING A WAHOO

Introduction, by Elizabeth Murray

"What exactly is a wahoo?" a curious visitor to the University of Virginia may ask. It is a very good question, indeed. Some may answer that a wahoo is a fish that can drink twice its own body weight. Maybe.... Others may propose that a wahoo is a cheer that students yell in support of "the University's" athletic teams. Others still might assert that a wahoo is a symbolic representation of a student here at Mr. Jefferson's distinguished University. So what exactly is a wahoo?

When we arrive at U.Va. as first year students, we are immediately accosted with hundreds of choices as to the "wahoo," the university person, that we are to become. I don't feel that there is one ideal model of the U.Va. student that we are pushed to emulate, but rather several different paths to identities at "the University." We may be pushed toward a variety of different identities: politically involved students (a.k.a. "politicos," or "Lawnies"), members of the Greek system ("frat boys"), members of an ethnic community (represented by the VSA, the BSA, the ASU, and countless other organizations), athletes, or any number of different identities. And though there are certainly qualities that are associated with the typical U.Va. student, there are hundreds of different paths that one may choose as a wahoo. The universal goal at "the University," however, is to discover some sort of identity. Students here feel pressures--whether academic, social, or otherwise--to find the "somebody" they will become, to choose the version of the wahoo that they are going to be.

The following articles provide the best advice that 25 experienced wahoos could give on attaining that desirable wahoo status. Whether sarcastic or serious, these tidbits of advice on all facets of cavalier life provide a somewhat accurate portrait of student life here at "the U." At any rate, this site is designed by wahoos for the benefit of potential wahoos. Our advice, though jaded at times, should prove helpful to anyone looking to choose a wahoo path here at the University of Virginia.

        SITE CREATED BY: STUDENTS IN ENLT 214M, OCTOBER 1997
        TEACHER: STEPHEN RAILTON
        LOGO DESIGNS BY: NATALIE CRANE & BRENDAN HAYWARD
        THANKS: CHRIS RUOTOLO, E-TEXT CENTER