Title: Trips Safety Talk
Matt Tanenblatt is a current Dartmouth student and a member of the class of 2019. He came to Dartmouth from Atlanta, GA (where he has lived his entire life) and is a member of the men’s lacrosse team. An economics major, Matt is a very business minded individual—he launched an iPhone “app” over a year ago.
- Customary, ritual, dance, prank
- United States of America
Social / cultural context:
Matt was interviewed about the safety talk alone and in person, while still on campus. At the time of the interview, it had been roughly 15 months since he witnessed the safety talk on Trips.
The safety talk is a tradition that occurs on the first night of trips while all the freshmen are still on campus. Throughout the day, trip leaders and Croo members off-handedly mention to freshmen that the safety talk is three hours long and mind-numbingly boring. Then, once all the freshmen are seated on the floor in Sarner underground, the Croo members begin a very dry presentation on what to do and not to do while on Trips. After about ten painful minutes, the Croo members throw away the fake agenda and break out in humorous songs that get their messages across about the “do’s and don’ts” of Trips. It’s a prank that surprises and welcomes freshmen every year as they begin a new chapter of their lives.
“The safety talk was a hilarious but startling moment on my freshman trip. I remember dreading how long and boring it was going to be and how uncomfortable it would be to sit on the floor in Sarner for three hours. Then just as I was falling asleep, the Croo turned down the lights and began blasting popular songs. They rewrote lyrics to popular hits with messages informing all of us about what to do and what not to do in the next few days. The example I remember most clearly was ‘Don’t have sex on trips 19’s’ sung to the tune of a song that was popular last summer.”
The informant spoke fondly of this item, making it appear to be a very welcoming experience for new freshmen.
Collectors Info: Armin Mortazavi, Class of 2019, hometown: Potomac, MD