After 93 years, can we consider the NoZe Brothers a tradition?

By Cameron Bocanegra | Reporter

They run around crashing Baylor events in fake glasses, plastic noses, wigs and beards just to scatter thousands of their satirical newspapers through every building. The NoZe Brotherhood goes back to the year 1923 when a group of boys in Brooks Hall created a club in the name of their friend, Leonard Shoaf’s, giant nose. Generations later, the joke lives on. Their pranks earn headlines for wild and often illegal shenanigans, such as hanging a giant 9.5 Theses banner on Waco Hall (2016), canceling Homecoming (2000) and dropping 4,000 ping pong balls at Chapel (2008).

Not everyone appreciates their state as the masked, uncensored comical relief at Baylor, but we must remember the mission statement of our university, “To educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.”

The NoZe Brothers do not do that. The mission statement does not even apply to them, but in the best way possible. Although they do not comply or foil under the expectations of our university, they do focus on issues in a way we can understand and laugh about. They exist on campus purely to remind Baylor that there is an organization that is not afraid to critique their actions without being worried of the repercussions. That is the golden aspect of their existence. Anything they say and write cannot be censored. In all the decades they have survived the university’s scrutiny and efforts to rid, they have not budged.

Not only do they have the creative opportunity to write satirically about current events, but they also represent the view of any type of student. Because of their status as a secret society, they can take on the honest perspective of every student individually and as a student body. Our campus is diverse in every manner, whether it be gender, sexuality, political view, nationality or religion. There is a voice for every single difference in the NoZe Brothers because they do not represent their individual selves. They do not take sides, except for the side of the students and satire.

We can resent them for putting giant NoZe glasses on Old Main (2006) and handing a donkey to a speaker at chapel (2007) or we could give them props for crossing lines for over a century all for the sake of informing Baylor in a lighthearted manner. Who else can print 5,000 copies of Matt Rhule comics? Who else will mock your own major, but have you in total agreement? They are a Baylor tradition that has aged and remained relevant with the times. The wonderful part about a faceless group of jokesters is their antics are endless as members leave and members join. The tradition, the joke, will go on as long as Baylor. Frankly, it seems to be necessary to remind us not to take things seriously, but honestly.