Starting with the next home football game against Terre Haute South on Sept. 7, the administration will distribute thousands of confetti poppers for students to use in place of the usual baby powder. Principal John Williams said this would be part of a new initiative to “phase out” students’ tradition of throwing baby powder from the stands before each home football game for safety reasons.

Students in the stands cheer before a home football game amid a cloud of baby powder. Administrators are trying to phase out the tradition of throwing baby powder from the stands before games with a new tradition of shooting confetti poppers. NIKHITA SAMALA / PHOTO

According to Williams, the baby powder had raised concerns of the substance getting in spectators’ eyes, inciting allergies and making the bleachers slippery. Football team members had also complained that the tradition obstructs vision and makes it difficult to breathe.

“I really think our kids see it as a pretty harmless thing, and they don’t understand the safety concerns that we have,” Williams said.

The idea of using confetti poppers originated from administrators’ attempts to find a new tradition to replace the former. Student body president Chris Johnson suggested the idea when Williams approached him with the safety concerns of the baby powder tradition.

“We knew the baby powder was causing issues with the players and the parents, and we knew that we had to get rid of it,” Johnson said. “We didn’t want to just get rid of it without coming up with an alternative, so the student section could start a new tradition.”

Administrators said they wanted to retire the previously dangerous tradition without ostracizing students. Students will therefore not be punished per se for continuing the baby powder tradition, but Williams expects students will embrace the new confetti poppers if they understand the safety concerns and realize other students are using the confetti poppers.

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