The tradition of Lucas in the Faculty of Medicine of Granada, history of a redemption

“Until a few years ago, money was used to pay the fines. Now that is unthinkable.” Juan Luis Delgado pauses in his preparation for the MIR exam to look back. He remembers that when he began his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Granada, in 2016, it was the first year in which the ban on throwing food at newly enrolled students took effect. There were no eggs. Neither flour nor mustard. Yes seriousness in the threats of fines of up to a thousand euros for those students who will continue with the ‘tradition’ of receiving the first years by throwing food at them.

“It is true that it was denigrating”, values ​​this Medicine graduate. He himself represented the character of Lucas in 2019. As in recent years, his Lucas was a theatrical representation, with a notable investment in costumes and props, inspired by the Harry Potter saga and in which only the faces of the children were painted. first on the street, in a protected area with plastics and cardboard. The organization even had a cleaning commission to ensure that everything was left in perfect condition after the procession passed, which traveled, as every year, the route that joins the old Medicine on Avenida de Madrid with Law.

Regarding the change in attitude towards the celebration of the patron saint of Medicine, Delgado recalls that “many colleagues said it was a tradition.” A short-lived tradition, because what was seen in the 90s was not like what students organized in the 80s. Not even what has been done in recent years has much to do with the scenes of 2012.

To the Dean of Medicine llThey issued invoices -which were not processed- of up to 7,000 euros in cleaning of the public road. The center hired security agents to close the Faculty “hard and fast”, due to the risk of damage. The doors of Law were also closed. People drank in the street and after the student procession there were remains of broken glass, paint, eggs, flour on the floor… The ‘welcome’ to the first year forced Inagra to reinforce its cleaning services (hence the bills that then they arrived, as a wake-up call, to the Deanery). A bottle was held from ten in the morning and the neighbors cried out against an act that was difficult to adapt to more civic ways.

so remember Carlos Ruiz-Cosano. The councilman, who was vice-dean and secretary of the Faculty of Medicine, affirms that a celebration like the one that was organized until 2015 at this point “is no longer understood.” “It was very out of tune.” On the management of the transition from that ‘tradition’ to a model in which the keys to the annual event are the costumes, the speech of Lucas and painting the rookies (and then leaving everything like a whistle), the popular mayor assures that about the period in which an attempt was made to put an end to the celebrations “the first years were very hard”. Helping to temper the situation was the ‘generational’ change in the student body and the transfer of the Faculty from Avenida de Madrid to the PTS.

“The student body was not very aligned with the Faculty model” that the Dean’s Office wanted to promote, then directed by Indalecio Sánchez Montesinos. The students, explains Ruiz Cosano, used the festivity of Lucas to make this difference in criteria noticeable. “There was no possibility” of negotiation between the Dean’s Office and the student body. Thus, despite the hardening of the position of the University of Granada itself with respect to hazing, especially after González Lodeiro’s time as rector and the adaptation of the patrons of other faculties to less alcoholic celebrations-because barrels were punctured in practically all of them-, in Medicine the ‘tradition’ lasted. In 2005, up to 6,000 people participated in the initiation rite (even though only 250 students enter the first year and around 1,700 are enrolled in the entire Faculty), which led to a macro bottle. In 2007, security was reinforced in both Medicine and Law to avoid similar images in a call that was described by the then Vice-Rector for Students, Rafael Díaz de la Guardia, as “unfortunate” and by the Dean’s Office as “outdated”. When Law was closed, there were students who had no better idea than to throw eggs at the façade of Colegio San Pablo, one of the Assets of Cultural Interest (BIC) that the University of Granada has.

The solution to that took years. In 2008, the first year of Sanchez Montesinos In front of the Deanship in Medicine, his then Law counterpart, Juan López Martínez, rushed out of an act towards the Plaza de la Universidad when he was notified by mobile phone that “a thousand Lucas” were on their way to Colegio San Pablo. Medicine veterans ignored all warnings, threatened to lock themselves in the building on Avenida de Madrid and celebrated the pattern under the theme of the story of Little Red Riding Hood. They drank heavily in the street. They bathed the first-year kids in ketchup, vinegar and alcohol, among other foods, shouting “don’t stop celebrating this party, whoever refuses” and, of course, Lucas climbed on top of the sculpture of Emperor Charles to launch himself . The amputation of one of the arms of Ghent It seems that it was also a tradition and the mold was preserved so many times that the limb had to be replaced.

In 2009 there was another bottle – this time the theme chosen for the costumes was zombies – in Law and in 2010 the challenge was repeated under the reasoning that “tradition rules”that argument that is so hackneyed is unconvincing both in 2010 and in 2022.

Tuenti -these were other times- allowed hundreds of people to be convened again in 2010, the year in which the Dean’s Office was also ignored. In 2011 the Local Police required that a person responsible for what they dirty be identified. The students gave four names, because of what needs to be shared. At the same time, the Deanery stood firm in closing more and more spaces in the center that day. Corridors and parking lots were used by students to dress up. The spree, which was repeated in 2012, concentrated the attention of the local media and also the national ones in a year in which the hazing of the sheep was already seen with no little apprehension. The bottledrome became another point of interest in these years for medical students, who ended up there after smearing the first years with a stinking paste of tomato, curry and egg. In 2015 the same images were repeated, but it was a year of inflection. The Faculty had moved out of the center and the change began, the redemption of Lucas, which has given way to an act that even arouses praise.

“The staging is very good, and it seems positive to me. It is not offensive,” says Ruiz Cosano about the appointment that this year will be next Monday. “We said that the page had to be turned,” says Delgado, who points out that in 2016 a process began to reflect on the way in which first-year students should be received. “We know what they go through to enter the Faculty and we want to open the doors” of some studies in which “it is not only academic life” that marks.

Before starting the celebration (which this year will be on Monday, October 17) those who have just enrolled in the Jardines del Triunfo are summoned, they are explained what is going to happen and they are told that being there is voluntary. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. It is true that they are smeared with paint, “as in a gymkhana”, adds Ruiz Cosano. “The colors represent the diversity of the Faculty,” Delgado adds, emphasizing that “dignity and respect come first,” before any tradition. Regarding the sequence of events, there are no bottles in the street and the jump from the sculpture of Emperor Carlos is made from a platform that is installed especially for the jump. Afterwards, the party moves to an entertainment venue.

And what was Lucas like before? The councilor, university professor and doctor recalls that “there was no bottle culture” in the 70s and 80s. “He went to the faculties”, in this case to those of Sciences, Pharmacy and Law. Classes were entered and interrupted. “When you finished and went to drink beer”. Neither theatrical performance nor food throwing, although a rookie might end up in the College fountain. That was “neither good nor bad,” reflects Ruiz Cosano, who also points out that “of course it was better” than what was done twelve years ago.

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