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The Return of the Petrs

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Editor’s Note: “Petr” refers to the creator of the Petr design, whereas Petr without quotes refers to the design itself.

Donning their signature red beanie and an all-black outfit, “Petr,” as they’d prefer to be called, appeared after a two-year hiatus to deliver the “pumpkn petr” design to the UCI student body in front of the Middle Earth Towers on Oct. 13 and at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts on Oct. 15.

Petr “drops” are typically assigned a date and time, with the location to be revealed exactly at the time listed. Students gather in Aldrich Park, located at the center of campus, to make it easier for them to get to the location of the drop.

“Petr” posted a photo to their Instagram story on Oct. 13 revealing that they were at Ring Road, in front of the Middle Earth Towers. In what seemed like stampede fashion, students immediately took off from their positions in Aldrich Park, running toward the site of the drop.

Photo by Moh Samhouri / Staff

The line for the Petr sticker stretched down from the front of the Middle Earth Towers toward the end of the Social Science Towers, proving just how long students were willing to wait for a piece of UCI history.

Photo by Moh Samhouri / Staff

Unfortunately, not everyone in line was able to get a sticker, with the creator running out of stickers after less than an hour. Students who were unable to get stickers from this drop opted to take pictures with the creator, as did many students who received a sticker. Some students had also asked to have the back of the stickers signed, with the creator signing them as “Petr.”

Photo by Jennifer Cheong / Staff

This was the first Petr drop for many students, as both first and second year students were experiencing their first year on campus. Second year students had their first in-person year delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was my first Petr drop,” second year biological sciences student Saima Ahmed said. “It was very exciting. My friend ran while carrying their cello. Definitely would do it again.”

After the conclusion of the Wednesday drop, “Petr” said that “[i]t [was] a very nostalgic feeling. I’m just happy to see people excited and on campus again.” 

Students who were not able to get their hands on a sticker on Oct. 13 had a second chance two days later.

Photo by Jennifer Cheong / Staff

“I’m glad that the original “Petr” is back. I have a mix of Petrs from other Petr [creators] and the alternate Petrs are just as cool. It brings about a sense of community — a very chaotic one,” fourth year biological sciences and criminology student Jessica Medina said.

Some UCI students went out of their way to receive a Petr. 

“I’m a commuter and I just came to school for the Petr drop because I heard that it was going to be happening again,” third year electrical engineering student Diana Tran said.

Former UCI students were also excited to hear that “Petr” was doing another drop and returned to campus just to receive one, with one missing work to receive a sticker.

“I drove 60 miles from San Diego just for the drop,” a recent UCI graduate, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “I went up to Berkeley recently and told [my friends] about the drops and they wished that they had something like that as well. [The creator] has done a really cool thing for UCI.”

“Petr” had a message for their fans: “I just want to thank my fans for making me still feel relevant. I thought Petr may have been reaching its end of life, but it seems like it’s very far from that. I hope that this drop may have inspired some more people to want to do a Petr [drop] to further cement this into UCI culture.”

Following the drop of the original Petr back in 2018, “Petr” has allowed those interested in making their own Petrs to create alternate versions based on the original Petr

Since the Week 3 drops from the original Petr, other creators have hosted their own drops. @petr_the_kideatr dropped “SpongePetr SquarePants” at the UCI Flagpoles on Oct. 22.

 @3d_peter, a creator who designs Petr as a 3D-printed keychain rather than a sticker, dropped their original Petr keychain near the Student Center on Oct. 26, while also mailing their “SaintPetr and LuciPetr” drops to students who filled out a form last year

The most recent drop was a collaboration drop done by @petr_the_ bingewatchr of “Shrk and Donky Petr” and @petr_the_weeb of “MaidPetr” at the Humanities Gateway around 4:30 p.m.

Those interested in obtaining a Petr should be on the lookout and follow the various Petr creators on Instagram.

Jennifer “Jenn” Cheong is a Campus News Apprentice for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at jacheong@uci.edu.

Mohammad “Moh” Samhouri is a Copy Chief for the 2021-22 school year. He can be reached at copy@newuniversity.org.