“Good Sam” Before Matriculation

Title: “Good Sam” Before Matriculation

General Information: 

  • Verbal: Urban Legend
  • Customary: Superstition
  • English
  • USA

Informant Data: 

James Goldszer was born in Rye, New York on October 22, 1994. He is a 21-year-old male and currently a senior at Dartmouth College. He is an executive member of a Greek organization on campus and currently resides within that fraternity. As a freshman, he had a broad and diverse social network on campus, and thus often participated in gossip regarding freshman activities.

Contextual Data:

After returning from his first-year trip, the informant spent much of his time during orientation week with other freshman who were on his trip that he had grown friendly with. Similar to many other freshman during their initial days on campus, the informant finally felt unshackled from the restrictions on social behavior that come with living at home. He was eager to engage in the college lifestyle, specifically drinking-related activities. While discussing with his friends their plans for acquiring alcohol, he was told a popular campus urban legend that discourages first-year students from potentially dangerous drinking. Freshman accounts of this legend are very similar in that students are told that a friend of a friend was “Good Sammed” (sent to Dick’s House for intoxication) before matriculation and immediately expelled from the College.


“I remember I think it was my second night here at Dartmouth, I was in Foco with a couple guys that I had been on trips with and been hanging out with, and we were talking about how we were going to get alcohol for the night so we could go out in the dorms and have fun, and I remember one of the guys, he said, ‘There’s no way I’m doing that, I’m not gonna be doing any drinking or anything like that until we matriculate,’ and he told us that his brothers friend had been a student at Dartmouth, and he had been “Good Sammed” before he matriculated, and apparently because your not technically a student of the college at that point, they can really kick you out instantly for a little transgression like that, but once you matriculate you’re a lot more protected. It was definitely something where we weren’t quite sure if it was true or not, but it did play around in the back of our minds that we had to be a little extra careful.”

Associated File:

James Goldszer Video Interview

Informant’s Comments: 

The informant felt that this legend was largely an unjustified superstition, and explicitly stated that hearing this story did not deter him from drinking during the pre-matriculation period.

Collector’s Comments: 

Although this is a very popular urban legend known to most all Dartmouth students, its origins are unknown and few believe it to be true. The informants account is consistent with this.

Collector’s Name: Tommy Kaminsky


  • Verbal Lore, Urban Legend; Customary Lore, Superstition

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