The Midnight Yell, known by different names across colleges and universities, is the 5 minutes given to students during finals weeks to scream, yell, and make noise to relieve stress and vent their frustration. This, of course, has been scientifically proven to help in a Stanford University report from Janua... no, wait, I'm making that up. Sorry.

The practice can be found in many universities across the USA under different names. Some of the ones I have heard are "The Scream", "Primal Scream", "Loud Hour", "Alakazoo", and "Finals Scream". (If you know more names, please /msg me.)


And I can't let this opportunity pass by describing my own school's fine Midnight Yell tradition. I mean, it would be a succinct, to-the-point node in that case. We can't have that, can we?

UCLA hates the Midnight Yell. In 1999, some students, in their therapeutic zeal, decided to light a couch on fire. Deciding that this course of action WAS helping, they decided to torch some sofas and other stuff lying around. The LAPD and the city firefighters decided to pay a visit (nearby "Stan's Donuts" is pretty good so it can't have taken them that long to respond). The LAPD decides to "bust a cap", so to speak, in the students' asses. The students decide to rage against the machine. The cops whip out the mace. The students throw rocks at them. The media arrives. The news stations have a field day. The police has a ball. The students get to see the cooler. Everyone has fun.

Everyone, that is, except UCLA. They decide that this reflects inappropriately on our campus... like our football team doesn't do that (sorry, I'm bitter... so bitter). So they ban the Midnight Yell in the dorms. Anyone caught yelling would be spanked silly. Or get into a lot of trouble, anyway. RA's were supposed to write down room numbers of noisemakers at midnight. Community Service Officers now shine lights at windows from which people yell and mark down the room numbers. Oh, and let's not forget the apartments.

UCLA, as anyone who goes there will admit, is in one of the nicest areas imaginable. We're in beautiful Westwood; the campus borders Sunset Blvd and right across from Sunset is Bel Air (you know, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Bel Air). So, as it turns out, we have some rather distinguished (read: old), talented (read: eccentric), wealthy (read: money coming out the wazoo) residents around here. They don't LIKE noise. They think college students should be QUIET. And should be seen and not heard from. The apartment residents beg to differ.

So this year, under threat of arrest and eviction, we set up my roommates loud, loud Bose speaker system on the balcony. Two siren lights, a strobe light, one fog machine, and a laser oscillator thingy also made their way there. At midnight, we played loud music for about 10 minutes (our selection was mostly 90s and 00s rock... notable entries were "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium" on the first night, "One Step Closer" on the second, "Bad Habit" on the fourth, among others (I've forgotten a bunch). We thoroughly annoyed our neighbor in the building next to us. He engaged us in an argument after the music was turned off but from the cheers of everyone else around us, I think we got the better of him. So, that was a few days ago. I hope I don't get an eviction notice when I get back. Does anyone else have Midnight Yell stories?

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