Senior societies wrap up in-person tapping period

Members of the Class of 2023 decided whether to accept their offers on Feb. 20.

by Ben Korkowski | 2/22/22 5:10am

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According to senior society members, the tapping process includes tasks such as posting photos and sending flitzes.

by Naina Bhalla / The Dartmouth

After last year saw the tapping process pushed online, this year marked a return to an in-person recruitment cycle. Between Feb. 15 and 19, Dartmouth’s 14 recognized senior societies — Abaris, Andromeda, Atlas, Casque & Gauntlet, Chimera, Cobra, Dragon, Fire and Skoal, Griffin, Olympus, Phoenix, Pyxis, Sphinx and The Order of the Sirens — selected new membership from the Class of 2023.  

Juniors had to decide whether or not to accept offers by Feb. 20, interim director of the Office of Greek Life Mike Wooten wrote in an emailed statement. This winter’s tapping period marks a return to traditional in-person tapping since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Wooten. 

One member of a recognized senior society involved with the organization’s tapping process — who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about his society — explained that, in preparation for last week, representatives from senior societies met with OGL throughout the fall to discuss OGL’s bylaws and each organization’s plan for inducting new members.

The member added that, per usual, some societies will also take part in a second official tapping period during the spring. College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an emailed statement that the exact dates are “at the discretion of the societies.” 

“There are a variety of reasons why a society may tap students in the spring: they may be on an off term during the winter or be newly considered,” the member said. “… The majority of people, however, are tapped in the winter.”

Before societies can proceed with tapping activities, the OGL requires all recognized senior societies to submit a list of potential “tappees” — juniors who are candidates to join senior societies. The OGL then returns the list to societies notifying them of people with single and multiple taps — juniors with interest from multiple societies — so societies can plan their recruitment accordingly, the anonymous member said. 

According to another senior society member, who also requested anonymity in order to speak candidly, her organization’s tapping process involved each member of her society submitting the names of three potential “taps” to the OGL. After hearing back whether these individuals had also been tapped by other organizations, regular members were then asked to narrow down their list of potential taps to a single individual, while executives were afforded two.

“You want people to join your society, so you definitely want to make sure that you don’t have only multi-taps but also single taps,” she said. “You want to include as many people as possible.” 

She added that her own tapping process involved completing “fun little tasks” sent to her from an anonymous number, which included a post to Instagram and sending a flitz to another society member. 

According to the second anonymous member, this year’s process has been “more or less the same” as her own, although she noted that the return of in-person tapping has allowed room for more creative tasks like wearing a “funny hairstyle for a day.” 

The senior society member in charge of tapping said that his society currently consists of between 25 and 30 members, adding that societies are “generally kept the same size year to year.”  For his own tapping process, he said that he received an anonymous email with a list of “nine or ten things,” such as sending a picture of himself standing in a certain place, and he was supposed to complete three items on the list. 

He said that doing these tasks, however, is often not the deciding factor in being accepted into his society. 

“You do the tasks because it’s fun, secretive and mysterious when you get tapped by some society … you can choose how much you want to buy into it,” he said.  

The other senior society member compared doing the tasks to rushing a Greek house.

“The tasks are completely optional … there are no other requirements other than telling the society ‘Yes,’ after you get tapped,” she said. “It’s all just for fun and tradition.”

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