As one of the original residential colleges, now over 60 years old, Baker has many traditions old and new that we love to celebrate!
THE COLLEGE FROM HELL
In the 1985 Beer Bike, Baker College debuted its first ever Baker Car for the Beer Bike Parade. Donated by a Bakerite, the '70 Datsun Bluebird 1600 Coup sported an impressive paint job featuring Baker's color red. But because the aged "Datziki," as it was called, was driven only a couple times a year for Beer Bike, the car slowly started falling apart over the course of two years.
On the night before the Beer Bike Parade in 1987, a couple Bakerites realized that the car engine would not start. A young freshman named Steve Carmichael asked to give a shot at repairing the lifeless Datziki. Carmichael managed to resurrect the car within a few hours after fixing the broken clutch. But as Datziki sat abandoned in the Baker-Lovett Quad, Baker's crosscampus rival Jones decided to ruin Steve's hard work by coating it in orange paint as a pre-Beer Bike jack. The sudden facelift was not only humiliating, but intolerable to loyal Bakerites, since red has been Baker's color since inception.
As morning came around, Bakerites frantically worked to salvage the dignity of the car and their college, but the orange paint would not come off! Only Baker ingenuity could save the day. By the time the Parade began, Datziki had become a fearsome, fiery machine with flames painted on the side of the car. As Baker led the Parade with its flaming car, other colleges began a derogatory chant: "The College from Hell, the College from Hell." Although the chants were meant as insults, Bakerites shouted right back at them: "Baker! Hell yeah!" and "We're from Hell! We're from Baker!" We have since adopted the image, and Baker has since been known and respected as the college from Hell.
Unfortunately, Datziki's resurrection was short-lived. The car died in West Lot after the Parade and was subsequently flipped over and sledge-hammered by bitter Jonesians. After the Datziki's demise, Baker was in need of a new car for the next year's Beer Bike Parade. So Steve Carmichael, savior of the Datziki, took a trip down to Montrose Avenue (which used to have multiple used-car lots) in search of a new Baker Car. There, hiding in the back corner in one of the lots, sat a white '66 Pontiac Catalina that caught his attention. It was in superb shape and condition, but it was priced at only $150 for a reason: it didn't run. But Steve wasn't going to give up on the Pontiac so quickly. He asked the dealer to give him one afternoon; if he could get it running, he would pay for the car. And fix it he did, Steve drove back to Baker with a brand new car, yet to become what will be known as the first true "Hell Car".
There are few things more exhilarating than being outdoors while naked. This is one of the purposes of Baker 13. Sorry, we're not naked, we're wearing cream! Shaving cream, that is. Menthol, if you're daring. (Baker 13 endorses Barbasol). Only Baker College would host (unofficially, mind you) such an event. Only a Bakerite could have thought of such a past time.
Here's how it goes: on the 13th of every month (and occasionally on the 31st or 26th for special occasions) at around 10 PM after liberal application of shaving cream, the Baker Third Entrance door bursts open to the screams of "Thirteen! Join us! Thirteen!" followed by anywhere from 2 to 200+ (!) naked, creamy males and females. The two big runs are Halloween and the last run of the school year (April 26th), officially deemed the "Senior Run" for those who put off running it until the last possible moment. Fewer people run in December and January, when it can get to be "this cold out." Ask a regular to tell you about this expression.
Anyway, we run out of the Third Entrance door, past the soda machines, and on to Hanszen. When we get there, curiously someone asks "What time is it?" to which we all reply "Who cares? Hanszen still sucks!" And the first of many attacks starts. Hanszen tends to be pretty lame, usually only throwing one (1) water ballon. After Hanszen, it's on to Wiess. Runners let out a savage cheer of "Cream! Wiess! Cream! Wiess!" And we do just that. Wiess is pretty good about attacking us. Trashcans full of water, firehoses, super-soakers, and water balloons. And of course, when someone attacks you, you are allowed to reward them with a naked, shaving cream hug. One of the most noble and highly regarded things one can do as a runner is to attack the wielder of the fire hose and turn it on the attackers. It's not recommended for first-timers, but a seasoned veteran will protect the other runners without flinching. Sid is next.
Sid is a mixed bag: They're nice to us - they use warm water. On those cold runs, nothing beats getting doused with a bucket of nice warm water. However, that water is poured from their balconies starting from 3 stories up and going all the way to Sid 7th. As such, do not underestimate the lack of obvious defenses at the Sid entrance, you may have an unexpected shower halfway through your run. Beware of falling trashcans as well; during one run an especially rowdy Sidizen "accidentally" dropped his garbage bin full of water from the fourth floor. In the event that we deem the water too cold, we unleash our fury on their commons tables using our most personal attack - the Table Slide. It's to encourage them to warm it up next time. After Sid, it's Will Rice. We fall into formation and rally around a leader who gives us a motivational speech to make the attack extra brutal. Following the speech, we charge their commons and leave their windows looking like it snowed outside. Then on to Lovett, who is extremely good at dropping buckets of water from the second floor and blocking their stairwells. Of course, once Baker 13 breaches the hastily constructed barriers in their stairwells, Lovetters quickly scatter back to their rooms, but it's not unheard of for the frontline 13'ers to exact revenge on any unfortunate stragglers locked out of their rooms.
After Lovett, we saunter over to the Allen Center parking lot where we form a blob and express our disgust with the administration. Afterwards, we line up single file, military style, and count off. The Career Services house is next. By running around nearly naked, we understand that we can never get real jobs and here is where we acknowledge and mourn this. We bring the Baker 13 virgins to the front of the group and the veterans proceed to sing a song (usually Don't Stop Believing, but requests are not unheard of). We reform our ranks, and then stealthily sneak off to the North colleges, ninja style.
First target up here - Jones East (aka Brown). They used to leave us human sacrifices to protect their college, but they have foolishly stopped appeasing us. We pick a couple of floors to pillage there. Beware the other floors attacking from the stairwell. On Halloween, Brown is notorious for providing the most intense resistance, using picnic tables, hammocks, and other make-shift barricades, tying their doors shut with rope, and filling dozens of trash cans full of water balloons the week beforehand. Consider it practice for Beer Bike and practice your balloon-dodging abilities.
From Brown, we head off to the Jones Fountain, just adjacent to Jones Central (aka Jones). The Jones Fountain features two women in a state of disrobe, and if there is one thing that Baker 13 detests, it is nudity. So we take it upon ourselves to cover up the statue with shaving cream (usually thrown, but occasionally lathered on). After the fountain, Baker 13 runners must contend with the Jones Knuckle, which features four levels of Jones defenders creating a constant waterfall through which Baker 13ers must pass. Once the pack has broken through, however, all of Jones' ground level windows are ripe for the taking. Jones Central usually is the most fun place to run through because there are many nooks where Jonesians like to hide. From there we head to Martel Dormitory, which can be best described as a milder Wiess. Occasionally a few defenders show up and form miniature resistances against the runners, but often times Martel is left completely unguarded.
After sprinting out the Martel Sallyport, we veer right and head towards our sister college, Duncan. Duncan features an all-glass commons ripe for creaming, but it also houses the DuncTank, a standing pool of water adjacent to the commons where defenders typically fill water buckets to halt incoming Bakerites. Daring 13ers often rush in either to cream the commons or to disrupt the defense, but either way, a dip in the Dunctank is expected and often encouraged. From there we head to Duncan's mirror college, McMurtry. Baker 13 and McMurtry have a special relationship. Often times, Murts will offer up cookies as a peace offering, which we will accept peacefully. However, if no such offering is made, we take to their commons and produce the largest shaving cream penis possible.
From here, traditionally we pass through the Engineering Quad towards the Academic Quad. In past years, Baker 13 has made stops at Valhalla and Fondren Library, the second well-known for its expansive windows and studious population. However, after several cases of someone putting their creamy butt through the big Fondren windows ($15,000 apiece), and to head off any future incidents, we have elected to retire that portion of the tradition. Instead we march towards Willy's Statue, where we gather to pay our respects to those Baker 13 runners past, and specifically those who have come down with a case of "glass in ass" during previous runs. With all the important buildings sufficiently creamed, we head back to Baker, with an air of reverence for this highly-regarded Rice tradition. That's it, it's over. You've done your part. And you will want to do it again and again...
Baker 13 is fairly anarchistic, but there are rules that must be followed to avoid dire consequences. The reading of the rules precedes every run, and to violate them is to risk death and dismemberment by the regulars. They're quite simple, actually.
- Stop at all stop signs (very important)
- Pose for all pictures.
- Attack only if attacked.
- Outside only; no bricks or other stuff.
- Always keep the most important part of your body covered - YOUR FACE! (Most runners skip this rule as the shaving cream get in your eyes and stings VERY badly. If you require anonymity, please feel free to follow this rule)
- THERE IS NO RULE NUMBER 6!
Anyway, JOIN US! Run 13! Meet at 10PM in the Baker pits.
Baker 13 was first run in 1975. Since then, the tradition has been passed down from Bakerite to Bakerite and even to exchange students who have taken the tradition with them back to their universities. For a few years in the early 1990's, there was a brief period where Bakerites lost the enthusiasm to run Baker 13 and Hanzsenites claimed 13 for themselves. During this time, they started calling their runs "Club 13." Baker quickly reclaimed their tradition. In an attempt to maintain an influence in 13, Hanzsenites started a rumor that Baker would start being charged for the clean-up after their runs and they should keep the name "Club 13," which successfully fooled most students for about 10 years.
Baker 13 is an important part of Rice's public image and has marked several historic Rice events. In 2002, as a precursor to the Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, the Olympic torch passed through Houston and Rice University. While it passed through the Rice campus, two Baker 13ers (who remained anonymous thanks to rule #5) ran in front of it. On April 26, 2008, Baker 13 officially christened the newly opened Brochstein Pavillion, which boasted 4 walls of glass. In protest of the new Dirk's Coffee in the pavillion and in respect for the student-run Coffee House on campus, the students shouted "This is for Coffee House!" as they fully covered each wall with body prints. Baker 13 even celebrated the recent Rice Centennial with a run during the Centennial Weekend on October 13, 2012 (President Leebron got a different kind of Spectacle than he was looking for).
We at Baker encourage everyone to leave their mark on Rice, and what better way to do so than with a can of shaving cream in hand and a drafty wind at your backside? So come out to the Baker Pits at 10pm every 13th of the month, even if you're not planning on running, and come experience a uniquely Rice tradition in all its creamy glory.