The history and creative process of Yote Busters


Lara Smith

Meghan Helton and a friend work on their Yote Busters for Rider-Old High week.

I had never heard of a “Yote Buster” before last week. When my colleague asked me if I’d be making one, I couldn’t even find a definition for the term in my mind.

Every year during Rider/Old High week, a small group of senior girls will decorate painting suits and wear them during spirit week.

Supposedly, these costumes are meant to resemble the jumpsuits that the iconic Ghostbusters wore in the 1980s (though I always thought the seniors’ interpretations looked more like vandalized hazmat suits). They’re characterized by the traditional black and gold spray-painted designs, often with the student’s graduation year down one leg.

However, the Yote Busters observed in past spirit weeks are an evolution of their original concept.

“As part of, you know, dressing up for Rider/Coyote week, traditionally the kids wore black and gold all week,” Rider alum and science teacher Stacie Martin said. “It just became a go-to thing to paint up something black and gold, because the goal was to wear it all week long. From there, we kind of adopted the camo overall look and painted them with ‘coyote blood’, painting them with red. So, it was kind of violent looking.

“Some of the girls started doing just the painted jumpsuits instead. So that has been done every year, mainly by senior girls. I mean, it’s been as long as I can remember.”

After learning a bit about the history of these traditional paint suits, I, together with a good friend, attempted to make my own. We bought black and gold spray paint to start out, unsure of what it was we wanted to design.

The process of planning and painting took the better part of an afternoon, but was well worth it in the end. After three hours, four cans of spray paint, a couple playlists and some stencils, we finally finished our creations.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad. I think it will serve as a nice substitute on the days when I don’t have an outfit to dress up in. I just hope it doesn’t smell too awful when I walk down the halls.