Opinion Asks: Green Key Weekend

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on Green Key.

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 5/16/19 2:00am

We asked opinion columnists to talk about their favorite and least favorite parts of Green Key, their thoughts on drinking culture, the concert and other campus traditions tied to this eventful weekend.

Although I am a freshman and thus have not yet experienced Green Key weekend, I have already experienced the palpable excitement and energy that accompanies Green Key week at Dartmouth. With exams, essays and projects looming in the all-too-near future, Green Key has provided me with something fun to look forward to before the grueling hours of studying for finals begins. Even before the official festivities begin, small things, like hearing live music randomly playing outside the Choates in the afternoon, have been brightening my days. Perhaps the best part to me, however, is how Green Key is a unique Dartmouth tradition that I now get to take part in. Hearing upperclassmen share their favorite wild Green Key stories has made me excited to share in on all the fun. Of course, I have also heard stories of partying-in-excess gone wrong and been warned by upperclassmen that Green Key is “a marathon and not a sprint” and that there are certain precautions to take as a female in order to stay safe. Taking their cautionary words of advice to heart, I can only hope the positive celebratory nature of Green Key week continues into the start of weekend.  — Gabrielle Levy ’22

The phenomenon of Green Key is best summarized by a little Baudelaire:

“You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it — it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk. But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.”

Beer, Waka Flocka or the sustainable ecstasy of Brewhaha, as you wish. The oft-forgotten beauty of Green Key is that there’s no one way to do it, as long as you put aside the travails of typical college life. Engage in all the typical party standbys of Green Key? Sounds good. Reject the debauchery and escape to a cabin or meandering trail? Very Green Key of you.

Green Key is the state of being drunk, not necessarily on alcohol, but on the absence of routine. — Steven Chun ’19

I never understood the point of Green Key. At least the other major weekends in Dartmouth’s calendar appear to be purposeful. Homecoming fosters community between generations of Dartmouth students, and Winter Carnival celebrates the campus’ prized location for playing winter sports. But Green Key is nothing more than an excuse for underage day-drinking and booze-filled revelry. Then why does the College allow Green Key to continue? No one could be so clueless to believe that Green Key adds anything of value to this institution. It is a waste of a weekend that promotes harmful behaviors. It ought to be abolished.  —Tyler Malbreaux ’20