Party in the 03755

by Lindsay Keare | 11/1/12 11:00pm


In the early 1900s, Junior Prom was one of the most anticipated events of the year. Prom started in 1899 and consisted of a weekend of dances, sporting events, music and "prom girls," who would come up to the then-single sex Dartmouth, according to an 1899 program for the event. Prom was suspended during World War I, but sometime afterward, it morphed into what is now known as Green Key weekend.

Popular about half a century later in the 1950s were fraternity Christmas parties in which nearly all campus frats held celebrations for local Hanover children. These parties had music, movies, food and, of course, visits from Santa.

Screw-Your-Sister/Brother parties were also common back in the day. These were events that Greek houses or dorms would put on for which friends selected dates for other friends, the twist being that you could decide whether to get them a really good date or a really bad date, hence screwing them.

Perhaps one of the most legendary parties is the Bahamas party at Psi Upsilon fraternity, in which there is a raffle and one attendee and a friend get to go to the Bahamas for the weekend, leaving directly from the party. This party still happens every sophomore summer.

Nowadays, there are still a ton of parties unique to Dartmouth that happen annually. One of the most anticipated days of the year is the first Saturday in May. On this day, Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority puts on Derby and Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity throws Pigstick. As the name suggests, Derby and consequently Pigstick occurs on the actual day of the Kentucky Derby. Attendees, who must be invited by a sister, wear fancy clothes and big hats, in accordance with the way those at the actual Derby dress. The event is said to be as old as the sorority itself, originating in 1993. KDE social chair Courtney Karol '13 speculated that the invention of Derby probably has a lot to do with the fact that people and Dartmouth students especially love an opportunity to get dressed up, especially outdoors.

"It's a day party, so if it's sunny, it's really fun just being outside," Karol said.

Karol said that the fact that Pigstick is right next door makes for a significant frat row scene during the afternoon, with many people going back and forth between the parties.

"[The parties] definitely have different feels, but both tend to attract a fun, happy, sunny crowd," Karol said.

Indeed, the outdoor atmosphere at parties is definitely conducive to a good time. Collis Ray, who has been grilling at Pigstick for the past nine years, said he looks forward to the event each year. The party centers around a roast pig that weighs approximately 250 pounds, but there are also burgers, fries, fried dough, corn on the cob and veggie burgers.

According to Collis Ray, the tradition began over a decade ago when a few brothers at Alpha Chi wanted to throw a hoedown for their friends. Because the event took place outside, it attracted a bunch of passers-by and the party grew.

Another staple of the campus party circuit is Phi Tau's Milque and Cookies party, which is held each term. The party originated in the early 1980s when the administration noticed the need for more wholesome events on campus. According to Phi Tau social chair Dan Berman '14, legend has it that one of the brothers asked, "What's more wholesome than milk and cookies?" Thus, the party was born.

For the first few years, the party consisted of mostly store-bought cookies and an alcoholic milk drink. However, the administration said that this was still not "wholesome" enough, and Phi Tau switched to serving non-alcoholic "milque" milk, ice cream and secret spices. Milque and Cookies is now the largest non-alcoholic event on campus.

All the cookies are homemade now, too, according to Berman. Phi Tau opens its kitchen to bakers in the days leading up to the Saturday night event, and Berman estimates that bakers go through more than 150 bags of flour making the cookies.

"We literally make batches of chocolate chip cookies by the bucket," he said.

These thousands of cookies essentially cover the entire first floor, and Phi Tau compiles all the recipes used into a book filled with recipes from the past decade of Milque and Cookies parties.

So even though Homecoming is over, don't despair. There are still tons of Dartmouth party traditions to tide students over until Winter Carnival.