Culture

IMG_1586WHAT IS CRUD?

Crud is a game that was developed by the American and Canadian Air Forces. It is a competitive team sport played on a billiards table using the cue ball and a striped ball, typically the fifteen. Before the game, two captains are selected and they pick teams. The primary objective of the game is to keep the fifteen moving by striking it with cue ball. Each player begins with three lives, and they lose a life if they are responsible for letting the ball stop. A player is eliminated when they lose all their lives, and a team is eliminated when all of its players have been eliminated.

Team 190 began playing Crud when Ken Stafford joined the team in 1999. Today, much team spirit comes from Crud. One of new team members’ first experiences is being Crudified, or receiving a Crud name. These names consist of two syllables, are often amusing, and have a connection with the member’s personality, appearance, or behavior. Once or twice a year, team members have the opportunity to order Crud shirts, which have the member’s Crud name and year of Crudification on the back. The team makes it a point to play each Saturday during build season at Captain Samuel Eddy’s Crud Emporium, also known as CSECE, or in the WPI Campus Center.

Click here to view the full team 190 Crud rules

WHO IS GOMPEI?

4911193600_ebb32641aa_bIn 1891, the sophomore class gifted a black goat to WPI. A Japanese student, Gompei Kuwada, was elected to take care of the goat because his initials, G. K., also stood for Goat Keeper. Overtime, the animal became very difficult to maintain, and the goat was eventually beheaded and its head was mounted. The actual Goat’s Head, also known as Gompei’s Head, was eventually replaced with a bronze replica for preservation.

Starting with the Class of 1928, a competition between the freshman and sophomore classes was organized. The classes could earn points through events, such as sports and the tech carnival, and the Goat’s Head was present to the class with the most points. Once a year, the winning class was obliged to show the head publicly to allow the other class to steal it back. Some of the notable “showings” include hanging the head from a helicopter during a football game and dropping the head from a bridge into a moving convertible. The competition was canceled for some time because of its violent nature; however, it has resumed recently with a new set of rules.

In 1998, FIRST decided that team names and numbers would carry over from year to year. It was at this time Team 190 decided to include “Gompei” in its name.