As students walk through campus, bustling to get to class, alone sits a beautiful, grey stone bench. In the open green between the Hall of Languages and the Tolley Building, the bench is rarely seen with visitors. The Kissing Bench, or so it is often called by students, is set by a tale that many are enchanted by.
In 1912, the graduating senior class of Syracuse University left behind the seat as a memorial to the school, the first ever of its kind. When it was originally dedicated, the tradition was that a kiss on the seat meant the student would not remain a spinster – someone who never marries. Over time, the myth has changed; any couple that kisses upon the bench will eventually marry.
With high hopes for love and romance in the future, few freshmen believe the bench is a kiss worthy spot.
“If I was dating someone and I really wanted to marry them, I would definitely go kiss them on the bench,” Sam Fabbioli, freshman, said. “Even though it does seem kind of far-fetched, I would still do it.”
However, even with the promising tale, other students have mixed feelings about the emblematic seat.
“I would want to kiss someone on the bench if I liked them,” Lauren Goldstein, freshman, said. “But maybe not, I don’t want to know who I am going to marry this young.”
Although the bench may be exciting, some freshmen think kissing someone on the bench may lead to bad luck with their significant other.
“I wouldn’t want to kiss someone on the bench,” Bayley Axelrod, freshman, said. “I wouldn’t want to jinx it.”
Other students believe the bench may lead to high expectations from their loved one.
“I try not to make promises unless I am absolutely positive I can come through with them, especially when planning for the future,” Daniel Cook, freshman, said. “I would feel terrible if I kissed someone on it and they got let down if we didn’t get married. If I did kiss someone on the bench, it would be the day I propose to them."
If I did kiss someone on the bench, it would be the day I propose to them.”
Nevertheless, some freshmen believe the iconic bench may not be as powerful as the plaque states.
“I would only kiss on the bench with someone I am in love with,” Joanna Cabrera, freshman, said. “But, I don’t need a bench to tell me I will marry that person. If I love them unconditionally, then we better get married, with or without the permission from a bench.”
Between the history and the legend, students throughout the campus still show their love and devotion for one another, whether it is sitting upon a charmed bench or under a tree in the Quad.
Facts from Syracuse University Archives
Photo by Melanie Falk
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