What Do Tuckies Do For Fun?
Do Tuckies rage?
When I lived in the River cluster my freshman year, I would capture little glimpses of the Tuck students’ social scene: I saw crazy costumes during Winter Carnival, volleyball matches in front of the Tuck dorms and people, dressed to the nines, walking to Murphy’s. Still, their social habits remained a mystery.
As the year progressed, I concocted elaborate plans to crash a Tuck party. I would wait for a night when loud music was blasting from the Tuck buildings, and then I would just show up and mingle with some older folks. I would play it really cool and mention fun facts that I learned in Econ 1. After I brought up supply and demand, they would be totally convinced that this random girl goes to Tuck. While I never worked up the courage to bang on Tuck’s door, one of my fellow River-livers, Steven Povich ’16, stumbled into a Tuck party his freshman spring after a long night hanging out with friends.
“I was only there for about five minutes,” he said. “But I could tell they had a vibrant social life. It was definitely classier than your average fraternity party. It looked really fun. They had a DJ, and I think there was an open bar.”
That description wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity. Being the intrepid investigative journalist that I am, I turned to the obvious solution — I waltzed into the Tuck building, arbitrarily sat down at a table with a few Tuck students and asked, “Soooo, what’s the scene like here?”
While this was probably not my smoothest line (or maybe it is, I don’t know), I was able to figure out a lot about what goes on at Tuck. The Tuck social scene consists of various organized social events, athletics, off-campus parties and hanging out at restaurants in the Hanover area — namely, Murphy’s.
“The scene is different for everyone,” Benjamin Moll Tu’14 said. “For the most part, the social scene revolves around campus. There is always something going on or there are always people at Murphy’s.”
There are several on-campus events organized by Tuck’s social chairs. No, that wasn’t a typo. Tuck students actually elect two social chairs per grade each fall to plan their social calendars as part of their student council. Last Friday was Tuck formal at the Hanover Inn. I met with two of them, Juliet Horton Tu’14 and Caitlin Moore Tu’15, at the coffee place in Stell Hall to learn more about their job.
Tuck’s social scene, Horton said, is not separated by class. “Most other business schools have different factions around the school, and it wouldn’t be practical to have everybody socialize together all the time,” she said. “This sets Tuck apart.”
Tuck schedules one big event every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Mark Etchin Tu’15 said that Tuck has a special social scene because of Hanover’s remote location.
“Unlike Columbia and other business schools that are located in cities, there is a large contingent of people that stay and do things locally,” he said. “There are many opportunities to do things with just our classmates.”
The Tuck social chairs aim to create a range of events that appeal to all of the students and their partners. The average age of Tuck students at matriculation is 28, with ages ranging from 24 to 37. Thirty-one percent of students have partners and 6 percent have children.
Because of these demographics, Horton said, the social chairs aim for mass appeal.
One of these events is Tuck Tails, which take place every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in Raether Hall, a large common room that is part of the Tuck Living and Learning Complex. It’s a lot of classy mingling. Food and drinks are served, and Tuckies often mix with professors and families.
Tuck social chairs also organized theme parties. A group of Brazilian students planned a Carnival event, with traditional decorations, music and food, and this month a masquerade ball was organized to benefit Tuck Gives, a charity that raises money for graduate students looking for jobs or internships in nonprofit organizations. The ball included both a silent and live auction, hors d’oeuvres and lots and lots of dancing. Something tells me that this event was a little less kid appropriate than tails.
Tuck’s scene tries to mix different groups of students together, too. Small group dinners bring together five or six randomly assigned students.
“It’s an important part of the Tuck experience because it is a way for you to get to meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise,” Avanti Maluste Tu’14 said.
Moore’s favorite Tuck event is the scavenger hunt that occurs during the first few weeks of the fall. Students, in teams of five, run around campus doing tasks dressed up in crazy outfits. As a first-year student, she was immediately introduced to both her class and to the second-year students, Maluste said.
While there are many on-campus parties, there are also off-campus events — and even pong. Moll lives in a Norwich house called “the Coop” with five other Tuck men. He said that Tuck students always hang out at his place, which houses a pong table. They practice often so they can compete with the undergraduates and with the “Double Ds” — students who attended both the College and Tuck. This came of no surprise to me. I mean, beer pong was invented at Dartmouth. Naturally the Tuck students are going to be playing it.
Of course,there’s not always a stark separation between graduates and undergraduates.
Though Jacqueline Panichello ’16 said the Tuck social scene is much more “low-key” and seems based in off-campus parties, she has spotted a few Tuckies mingling with undergrads.
“It was weird,” she said. “I was at a fraternity party and they were playing pong and picking up girls.”
My sorority recently hosted a mixer with Tuck at Three Guys. With two huge “X”s on my hand marking my underage status, it was a bit awkward to introduce myself to the Tuckies, since it immediately became clear to them that I was a lot younger than them.
In my experience, though a few facetimey Tuck students I once met on the Green said they had met me at a fraternity (they had no idea what it was called), it’s rare to see Tuck students at Greek houses or Collis After Dark. If you really want to spot some, I’d suggest heading toward town. There seems to always be an abundance of Tuckies at Molly’s and Canoe Club.
Old or young, graduate or undergraduate, parents or bachelors, Dartmouth students are looking for a good time. Must be something about the Hanover air. Must be.