Our Favorite GU Traditions

A girl in a white sweatshirt and a black puffer vest sits in a red tent in the foreground. She is working on a laptop and has a white blanket around her. In front of her, is a man in a blue lawn chair in a grey sweatshirt with the hood pulled up looking down at a piece of paper. In the background, there is a grass and many other tents behind the red tent. It is at night and the area is lit by streetlamps in the background.
Students Camping for Kennel Campout

September 29, 2023
Levi Garcia-Morales, Admission Counselor

Gonzaga – the ideal combination between nature filled environments and metropolitan landscapes – has so many unique stories and tidbits that make it a special place. The university shines with an endless supply of cozy and inviting spots to study, exciting places to explore and an array of skylines as the seasons come and go.

More importantly, Gonzaga is also home to traditions that everyone can explore. Each tradition has its own special characteristics. As a first-year student, exploring some of them is a great way to get connected with campus and make new memories. The Office of Admission has compiled a list of our favorite Gonzaga traditions for students!

DJ DeSmet

While walking along Bulldog Alley in the center of campus, you may start to hear music in the air. This is because the third floor of DeSmet Hall houses one of the most important Zags on campus, DJ DeSmet. DJ DeSmet is a long-standing tradition on Gonzaga’s campus. The DJ is a student who resides in the residence hall and is responsible for blasting tunes on campus for all to enjoy. Whether it’s Pop, Country, Rock, or Reggae – DJ DeSmet keeps us jamming throughout the day! Here is a link to one of DJ DeSmet’s best playlists!

Kennel Campout & Ticket Run

Although student tickets are free at sports games at Gonzaga, our students do have to work a little for the best seats in the Kennel. First, Zags across all classes participate in the running of the tents for our biggest basketball games. The Kennel Club board releases a location on campus where students race to receive their tent number. This tent number indicates the order in which students enter the Kennel for gameday to choose their seats. Then students, rain or shine, will camp overnight on Herak Lawn to secure their entry for gameday.

COG Cookies

Our main dining hall on campus is the COG located in our Hemmingson Center in the middle of campus. Although students have many favorite dishes in the COG, there is one dessert on campus that trumps them all – the beloved COG cookie! COG cookies are the perfect ending to a great buffet at the COG and are definitely a must-eat for Gonzaga students, faculty, and staff. To see what makes COG cookies so great, check out their recipe!

The Freshmen Games

The Freshmen Games is a unique experience that is exclusive to our first-year students on campus. This four-sport intramural tournament is only available during the first few months of students’ first year on campus and includes softball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and flag football. It is a terrific way to get acquainted with our popular intramural leagues, as well as to bond and meet other new students on campus!

Den After Dark

If you ever need a chill night on Gonzaga’s campus look no further than Den After Dark. Den After Dark is a weekly music series that takes place in the Hemmingson Center basement, better known as the “Hemm Den.” This series features both student musicians and bands who can display their skills to students looking for a calm “coffeehouse” environment with entertainment on a weeknight.

Zombie Nation

Before every single tip-off in the Kennel, our student section warms up for the game during what we like to call “Zombie Nation.” Zombie Nation is a synchronized dance that energizes both our fans and our Zags on the court to watch an exciting game.


Many of our students on campus also like to participate in self-reflection opportunities. Gonzaga offers a variety of retreats throughout the year with different themes. These retreats are optional but an effective way to take some time to reflect during a busy school year!

Crimont Haunted House

Crimont Residence Hall is a dorm for both first- and second-year students. It is a smaller, closer-knit dorm on campus with a fun tradition every fall. Crimont’s residents organize and put on a haunted house every year around Halloween. Students dress up and decorate the dorm to frighten fellow Zags. Zags come from across campus to walk through the haunted house and experience a fun Halloween tradition!

To learn more about Student Life on Gonzaga's campus, click on the link below: