Ledersprung

The academic "Ledersprung" is THE couleur student event of the academic year in Leoben. It is known far beyond Leoben's borders and therefore attracts many visitors to our beautiful mining town every year. The Ledersprung is the traditional rite of passage into the mining profession or its "related" professions.

According to the Ledersprung Agreement of 1960, the academic Ledersprung is an event of the University of Leoben and its corporations. It is held by a corporation entrusted by the rector in the form of the "Ledersprungkommerses". The organisation is entrusted in the order of the founding years of the fraternities.

 

About the proceedings of the academic Ledersprung: Miners in traditional costume and arse leather stand at the entrance to the hall, which is filled almost to capacity. Only the podium and the Fuxentafeln are still empty. Then the chargés d'affaires (=corporates in "gala uniform") enter and line up in the back row of the podium. The Rector, Vice-Rectors and Professors then enter, taking their places in the front rows of the podium. After various traditional songs, which are sung loudly by all present, and the welcoming speech, the presidium - representatives of the organising fraternity - asks the rector to open the Ledersprungkommers. The freshmen, preceded by the Fuxmajor of the fraternity in which they are jumping as Fux or guest, enter the hall with the "Fuxenritt" and take their seats on the Fuxentafeln. All jumpers must wear the mountain smock throughout the evening. Between the following cheerful speeches and student or miner songs, there are breaks in the conversation, also called colloquia, which are used to drink merrily to each other, but especially to the professors.

 

Now comes the actual act of the Ledersprung. A beer barrel is placed in the middle of the hall, and the jumpers line up in front of it in order (first the organising fraternity, then in order of fraternity age, and finally the jumpers from the ÖH). Behind the barrel, the oldest miner present and the rector hold the Arschleder, a piece of leather formerly worn by miners on their backsides to protect them from wetness. After the arse leather, the chargers form a so-called "Schlägergasse", through which the jumpers run after jumping under the crossed blades.

 

Jumper after jumper now climbs onto the barrel, first the new professors and assistants, then the freshmen. Each must answer four questions: "Your name?", "Your home?", "Your standing?" and "Your motto?". The Fuxmajor answers the questions with: "So empty your glass, jump into your new stand and always hold it in honour! The jumper empties a pint of the finest Gösser beer and jumps over the leather with a shout of salvation.

 

When everyone has finally jumped, the leather jump comes to an end with the song "Oh alte Burschenherrlichkeit". Afterwards, the party continues for many hours at the various fraternity houses (Buden), and many a professor can still be found there at a late hour.