Turning the clock back three weeks, Dartmouth football looked a lot different than it does today. The Big Green had just been pummeled by Penn 49-14 the day before and had lost their ninth straight. Their last win had been Oct. 7, 200. Things could not have looked worse for Dartmouth, but somewhere between practice, the weight room and team meetings, something finally clicked.
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What impresses Steve Erickson, assistant director of physical education and recreation, most about the bonfire is not the 35-foot height of the structure or the fact that it is built in only a few days -- although Erickson supervises that effort -- or even the moment when the fire collapses about 40 minutes after being lit, sending a stream of ash and sparks in to the air, beautifully lit by the flames below. It's the fact that it's all cleaned up by the next morning.
This year will mark the first Homecoming with no ban on first-year students attending fraternity parties. But while fraternity presidents and administrators do not foresee a major spike in '06 party attendance this Homecoming, they stressed that freshmen pose an increased risk because of their large numbers, under-age status and lack of familiarity with the Greek scene.
In bucolic Hanover, it's not surprising that town residents prefer to overlook the inconveniences caused by Dartmouth's Homecoming festivities. After all, the neighborhood only receives this much company once a year, said area residents -- it's more fun to join the party than to complain.
While Dartmouth students and alums look forward to the Homecoming bonfire, football game and the festive celebration that tops all others, Hanover businesses gear up for increased sales and packed restaurants during their most profitable weekend of the year.
It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. At least that's the stance of administrators as they try to curb violations of College policy on Homecoming weekend.
Stories of beloved Homecoming traditions lace Dartmouth's history, but these customs aren't as stable as they may seem. Over the years, Homecoming fixtures such as the bonfire, the freshman sweep, rushing the football field and the green light on Baker Tower have been altered, abolished or created in order to keep up with safety concerns and changing times.
Whether it's the bonfire, the football game or some unique form of revelry, most alumni carry memories of Dartmouth Homecoming with them for years to come.
Homecoming weekend at Dartmouth is an exciting time for traditions such as the bonfire and the freshman sweep, but underclassmen are not the only ones who converge on the Green to revel in school spirit. Every year tents to receive individual classes of alumni pop up around Hanover, welcoming back alums arriving to reconnect with their Dartmouth days, if only for a weekend.
The leaves of the trees have turned golden. A gust of cold wind whispers across the Green. A sense of romance lingers in the air. You hum a catchy tune -- doo-wop, didee didee. These tiny wonders flood Dartmouth's campus this fall season -- nature's beauty encircles the rituals and rejoicing of Homecoming weekend, including Fall Fling, a Saturday performance of assorted a cappella amusements.
The bonfire is coming. You can practically smell the smoke in the air. But the actual burning doesn't happen without careful preparation, and the ignition of the flame only occurs after traditional Dartmouth Night events.
I have always been fascinated by fires. There's something about their pristine beauty that has always attracted me. My roommate thinks this fascination is somewhat dangerous given my natural clumsiness, but I think her fears are entirely unfounded. Just because I bump into chairs and drop things on myself all the time doesn't mean that the combination of me and fire is necessarily bad. And even if it were, I don't think she or anyone else could keep me away from one of the prettiest fires I have ever seen: our Homecoming bonfire.
Fall has arrived, and as Martha Stewart would say, "it's a good thing." The signs of the season are all around us: the leaves are changing color, the '06 girls are realizing that half the campus already owns that J-Crew sweater-jacket they were so proud of buying, and humor columnists are adding strained Martha Stewart references to their pieces.
You're too sensitive!" Why, because I don't like the fact that my identity is plastered on a T-shirt or jacket being worn by someone who knows nothing about me?
Homecoming has a long tradition of debauchery and rowdy behavior, but reveler beware -- the Hanover Police Department will be fielding 20 extra police officers to make sure the sweep and bonfire are safe and legal.
While small numbers of Dartmouth freshmen continue to rush the field during the annual Homecoming game, the practice appears to have waned considerably since its official prohibition in 1986.
It could be a postcard -- colorful leaves crunch under foot as green-and-white clad students congregate on the Green. The heat of the giant glowing bonfire warms them, while its light reflects on the centuries-old buildings. The freshman class has united for the sweep, while upperclassmen have gathered around to encourage their display of spirit. Alumni surround the students, watching and reliving their own bonfire memories. These people come from every imaginable background, but they all share one thing -- a love for Dartmouth.
Philip Glass has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself: composing music to accompany visual art. While composers from John Williams to Thomas Newman have built reputations on scoring movies, their work must never overshadow the film itself.
In their last conference game of the 2002 fall season, the members of the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club made a statement to future playoff opponents: the DRFC is not ready to quit.
A pair of stellar second-year players led the women's tennis team in competition at the ITA Regional Championships at Harvard last weekend. Jayme Ahmed '05 and Sarah McNally '05 both picked up impressive wins in singles play against the talented field.