Putting on the Brakes: Foam Sword Friday Canceled

Gentlemen and women, lay down your swords. The Daily Texan reports today that the much-discussed tradition of Foam Sword Friday has been canceled—at least for now—as the result of a recent accident

During finals each semester for the past six years, when the light turned green at the Co-op crosswalk, stressed-out architecture students would raise their foam swords and rush at each other, Braveheart-style. Nick Engmann, UT student and sword fighter, was in the middle of this fanciful melee last May when he was hit by a Capital Metro bus. Fortunately, despite a widely-viewed video that looked very painful, he managed to escape unharmed.

The Undergraduate Architecture Student Council, which has put on the event for the past six years, has decided not to sponsor a sword fight at the end of this semester.

Ulrich Dangel, faculty advisor to the Undergraduate Architecture Student Council, says that the students are currently entertaining the option of bringing it back in the spring. “We’re making sure that we are ticking all the boxes and that the event is as safe as possible for the future,” Dangel says.

But was the thrill dependent on the high-risk battleground? “I don’t think the element of danger was important,” says Dangel. “The traffic lights themselves regulate the event. As the light turns green, you charge. That had a lot to do with how the event was structured. As that factor goes away, it brings up a lot of other questions. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to set up fake traffic lights on the west mall.”

And how about the student who got hit? Engmann’s attorney, Reed Teckenbrock, tells the Alcalde that his client is disappointed with the decision to halt the event. “We were certainly never consulted,” he says.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath


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