Ohio State-Michigan: Project Ayhe

The Ohio State University Archives

With "Beat Michigan" week in full-swing, some Ohio State students participate in a lesser-known tradition on campus.

The operation known as "Project Ayhe" is quite the task, as it takes weeks of planning and a large number of participants to cover every "M" on campus. Ayhe, which is Mayhem without the "M"s, was started by three Ohio State freshman in 2007. This cult-like event has been done in secrecy ever since.

Late Sunday night, members of a student organization gather at the statue outside of the William Oxley Thompson Library for a night of mischief. The first order of business is to tape the infamous "Beat Michigan" poster to Thompson's chest. Once the poster is successfully placed, which often takes someone standing on another's shoulders, the campus-wide operation begins.

Members of the student organization are separated into groups, with some being responsible for covering campus as far as Fred Beekman park, and others as far north as the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Throughout the night, every "M" in sight becomes covered with red duct tape. At the fear of being arrested for vandalism, students go as far as to hop in bushes at the sight or sound of a passing vehicle. The night culminates with the students returning to the statue to sing Ohio State's Alma Mater, "Carmen, Ohio".

Students walking to class on Monday morning often associate campus being littered with pieces of red duct tape as the unofficial start of "Beat Michigan" week. From painting campus red to jumping in a freezing lake, Ohio State students truly know how to show their disgust for That Team Up North.


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