Not Your Average Toga Party

by Marina Shkuratov | 8/8/14 9:36am


Dartmouth may be renowned for its academic prowess, but that doesn’t mean its students don’t like to let loose every now and again. While there’s generally some sort of social scene that can be found on any night of the week, a few well-known events on campus have become Dartmouth traditions. Some of the most anticipated campus-wide social gatherings include:

Alpha Chi Beach Party: Have you ever looked down at your shoes and wondered what you could do to ruin them forever? Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity has the answer, and it’s sand. Every winter, Alpha Chi hosts a basement party complete with flower-print shorts, beachy music and enough sand to fill 900 pairs of those Sperry slip-ons you bought to begin your chill, yet outdoorsy Dartmouth life. At least you’ll always have something to remember them by.

Amarna Wine and Cheese: For those college-goers who tire of the Keystone Light elixir, Amarna undergraduate society’s termly wine and cheese event is a dairy-filled paradise. If you can survive the trek past the gym and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, you will be rewarded with wine, grapes and conversations that happen at a reasonable volume. It’s one of Dartmouth’s rare chances to dress up, throw on some shoes that have never seen a sand-covered fraternity floor and enjoy a drink in style.

Homecoming Bonfire: Though the bonfire is not technically a Dartmouth party, it is certainly the event that brings the most Dartmouth people together. Generations of Dartmouth alumni and their families come back to Hanover for the weekend, or as many affectionately say, “Everybody comes home for homecoming.” Traditionally, the incoming class is supposed to run around the bonfire 100 times, plus the number corresponding to their graduating class, meaning an ambitious ’18 can expect to run 118 big ones while being cheered on by upperclassmen and alumni on the sidelines. Whether you choose to run 18 or 118 laps — to be honest, most students don’t — the best part of the night is seeing our community come together, reflecting on what it means to start a new year and singing the alma mater with a mouth full of smoke.

Hop Garage: Hop Garage is a relatively new addition to Dartmouth’s social scene, and one that has been met with open arms by a campus desperate for free drinks and entertainment outside of Webster Avenue, or “frat row” as it’s known to Dartmouth students. Every Thursday, the side room next to the Courtyard Cafe transforms into a bumping social space complete with hard ciders, a capella performances and trivia nights. Though it comes with a few quirks, like fire code regulations ensuring you can’t move from room to room without standing in line, Hop Garage is a welcome addition to the College’s event lineup and perfect for students looking for a social atmosphere outside of Greek houses.

Phi Tau Milque and Cookies: Every term, the coeducational fraternity does the seemingly impossible — bakes enough cookies to satisfy campus. In the week leading up to this event, students from across the College are invited to Phi Tau to help bake cookies of every shape, size, variety and flavor. You can wash it all down with an ice-cold glass of “milque,” a mysterious concoction created froma secret recipe. It’s non-alcoholic (don’t believe the rumors that say otherwise), and the perfect way to wash down more cookies than you’ll ever admit to eating.

Pig Stick: This outdoor party features dancing to live music, spilling drinks while dancing to live music and a full pig cooked by campus celebrity Collis Ray. For those incoming freshmen who have not yet met campus royalty, Ray can be seen at the stir fry station at Collis when he isn’t cooking pigs or teaching students how to ice fish. No spring term is complete without an Instagram photo of you and your friends with a roasted pig.

Programming Board Spring Every Friday of Green Key, Programming Board brings a highly sought-after performer into the woods of New Hampshire, with past performers including Maroon 5, Three 6 Mafia and ASAP Rocky. This concert is one of the only events popular enough to bring Dartmouth students and Hanover High students pretending to be Dartmouth students together. If you’re not already in bed sleeping off the day’s festivities, you can find most of campus on Gold Coast lawn screaming over the bass and updating their Snapchat stories.

Sig Ep Pop-Punk: Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity’s Pop-Punk party, hosted on the Thursday of every big weekend, brings together two of everyone’s favorite things — middle school music and not actually having to be in middle school. Big weekends always start early, and this party is the perfect opportunity to spend time in a fraternity without having to listen to a symphony of pong balls and Avicii remixes. It’s also the one of the few times it will be socially acceptable to dance on a pong table, so take advantage of that while you can.

Tabard Lingerie: On big weekend Wednesdays, the fine folks at the Tabard coeducational fraternity host a body-positive lingerie show. Participants are encouraged to wear — or not wear — whatever they feel comfortable in, be it skivvies or a cow suit. Performing individually and in groups, students often incorporate music and choreography.