Freshman Fall Traditions


We are particularly interested in the student body of Dartmouth itself. While people come to this campus from a variety of backgrounds and each have unique experiences over the course of four years, there is also a unifying quality that is distinctly Dartmouth. Accordingly, we seek to examine the ways in which students are introduced and acclimated to the Dartmouth culture and tradition.

To narrow our focus, we collected stories and traditions from freshman fall. Our main question will be how they first “learned the ropes” of Dartmouth, up to the point in which they first felt like true members of Dartmouth. Based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence, we expect that these experiences will heavily center around DOC Freshman Trips, Orientation Week, freshman floors, and culminate with the Homecoming Bonfire.

From what we collect, we hope to find similar trends in freshman fall experiences, but also how they have changed throughout the years. To find similarities and differences among students at other schools we interviewed freshmen at other colleges. In order to gain insight and identify themes among Dartmouth students without too much repetition , we diversified our informant demographics. We interviewed students from different class years, including alumni. After our progress report meeting, we wanted to emphasize perspectives we would not be too familiar with and decided to utilize most of our time on seeking informants from other universities across the country.

Presentation: RUSS13 Freshman Traditions

Formal Dartmouth Traditions: 

Informal Dartmouth Traditions:

  • Language
  • Tasks
  • Snowball Fight – Dr. Seuss
  • Winter Carnival Snow Statue


Dartmouth Students and Alumni:

Freshmen at Other Colleges:


  • Freshmen
  • Traditions
  • College
  • Rites


  • Caroline Jones
  • Aneeq Chaudhry
  • Sam Gordon
  • Ruba Iqbal