The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Incoming freshmen to be baptized in Monroe Fountain

3 min read

President Troy Paino demonstrates to incoming Freshman how the baptisms will commence. | University of Mary Washington


Editor-in-Chief & Associate Editor

As part of a new initiative to welcome students on campus, UMW has invited representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to perform baptisms on incoming freshmen in the Palmieri Plaza fountain right before Eagle Gathering. This rite of passage is a way to indoctrinate new eagles into the UMW community and aims to bring the tight-knit student body even closer

Depending on whether it is an even or odd year, the water of the fountain is colored red or green with Kool-Aid. Freshmen are then easily identifiable as either devils or goats until the Kool-Aid washes off. 

“The school announced that they were conducting trial sessions and I just had to participate!” said a first-year student who asked to remain anonymous. “As I walked back to my dorm room, soaking wet and dyed bright green, all I could think of was that hot Mormon guy that placed me gently under the water. His hands… oh God his hands.” 

This initiative is in collaboration with Mormon missionaries that frequent Campus Walk and accost passersby with questions about their relationship with religion. They have been given honorary degrees from UMW for their moving work on campus.

“It feels like all our hard work has finally paid off,” said Joseph White, a missionary who has been serving at UMW for the past three years. “My mission trip ended a year ago, but I just couldn’t give up; I knew we were so close to a breakthrough. When President Paino contacted me about this initiative, I knew it was a gift from God.”

The UMW administration understands that not every freshman necessarily wants to be baptized in Kool-Aid, so they are offering a second option. In order to opt out of the baptism, freshmen can instead confess their sins to University President Troy Paino. Don’t worry, he doesn’t judge you if he doesn’t know you.

“For years, the Mormon missionaries have walked our campus, Book of Mormon in hand, trying to get more involved with the student body,” said Paino. “In return for their service, we have decided to give them a more active role on campus. It wasn’t enough for them to converse with students on their way to class, we wanted to fully immerse students in the Mormon experience.” 

What do current students think about this new initiation ritual and the Mormon’s increased involvement on campus? 

“The Mormon guys on campus are so flirtatious,” said Weekly Ringer Opinion Editor Norah Walsh, a Spanish and philosophy double major. “They start talking to me about Jesus and I’m like, are we about to kiss right now? I’m so glad that they’re getting more involved in student life.”

Walsh is not the only one with a thing for the Mormons. 

“I once dated a Mormon,” reminisced Weekly Ringer Life Editor Josephine Good, a senior and international business major. “Craziest week of my life.” 

Upperclassmen are jealous of the freshmen’s new opportunity for baptism. 

“I wish we had something like this when I was a freshman,” said Weekly Ringer Associate Editor Bernadette D’Auria, a senior English major in the five-year education program. “All the cool stuff is happening right when I’m about to graduate. I literally spent my entire college experience wishing to feel the touch of a Mormon man. All they did was try to convert me on my way to class.”

This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously.