E.W. is a female Dartmouth Student. She is affiliated.
Cultural Context: Fraternities and Sororities at Dartmouth both partake in rush and bid night parties. These are parties for the new members of their respective houses. Sometimes a Fraternity and Sorority will together throw a joint party for their new members.
Social Context: The celebration of new members of a house is usually some form of social gathering. The combining of two different houses for a social gathering meant for the new members is a common social practice.
The joint parties of a Fraternity and Sorority refer to parties thrown by two houses together to celebrate their new class of members. These are therefore much larger and grander than celebrations done just by members of the house themselves.
I found this to be a cool tradition as it mixes the somewhat separate processes of rushing a Fraternity versus a Sorority.
S.B. is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth from New Jersey. He is affiliated with Greek Life and is studying Mathematics.
Cultural: Rush lunches may be a part of the Interfraternity Council rush process.
Social: This item was collected through a video chat interview. According to the informant, rush lunches add a new component to the rush process by allowing more personal connections to be formed. The potential new members are able to get to know current members of the specific organization.
Rush Lunches are organized events where members of a specific fraternity may go to lunch with a potential new member.
I found this item to be informative of fraternity rush, as it displays an aspect of the rush process that occurs in smaller groups and allows for more conversation. It seems as though this would help potential new members decide if they are interested in a specific fraternity.
M.N. is a female member of the Class of 2022 at Dartmouth. She is affiliated with Greek Life, and she is from Boston.
Cultural: Every potential new member participating in sorority rush is assigned to a rho gamma, who guides them through the rush process. Rho gammas are affiliated but their affiliations are kept secret from the potential new members throughout the whole rush process. They are serve as a resource for potential new members to ask questions or make reports with confidentiality.
Social: This information was collected through a video chat interview.
A word that refers to a confidential resource that helps and leads potential new members throughout the rush process for sororities.
H.W. is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth from Portland, OR. She is affiliated with Greek Life at Dartmouth.
Cultural: Rush rounds are the three steps of the Inter-sorority Council (ISC) sorority rush process taking place over 1.5 weeks.
Social: The item was collected through a video chat interview. Only current members of the organization dress according to the theme. According to the informant, the social significance of this item is that it is a way to “be memorable” to potential new members and ultimately tells something about the specific organization.
Current members of sororities may dress according to different themes for the three rounds of the rush process. Some examples given by the informant are Outer Space theme and Rock and Roll theme.
This item made clear the importance of how the Greek organization presents itself to potential new members during the rush process.
The informant, K.I., is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth. He is from Massachusetts. At Dartmouth, he is affiliated with Greek Life and is studying Engineering.
Cultural: Shake Out is a part of the Interfraternity Council rush process.
Social: The information was collected through a video chat interview. Participants in Shake Out are potential new members of the Greek organizations, and the event indicates possible intent to join a specific house.
Shake Out is a two-night event that occurs during fraternity rush. For this event, potential members must shake the hands of current members. Additionally, during Shake Out, potential members communicate their interest in a Greek organization by signing their name in a book.
I found this item to be interesting, as it indicates a unique component of the fraternity rush process. I was not aware of the details of this process prior to the interview.
R.B. is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth and is affiliated with Greek Life. He is from California and studying Engineering.
Cultural: Shake Out is a step of the Interfraternity Council rush process.
Social: This item was collected through a video chat interview. Not all fraternities request that potential new members wear formal attire. It may be “out of respect” to dress formally, and this is only done by potential new members.
Item: Potential new members of fraternity organizations wear formal attire for the Shake Out event.
This item is similar to a different item collected- Sorority Pref Night clothing. Formal attire may be required for both processes, potentially indicating the significance and formality of certain events.
M.F. is a female member of the Class of 2022 at Dartmouth. She is affiliated with Greek Life, and she is from Minnesota.
Cultural: Pref night is the third and final “round” of Inter-Sorority Council rush, where each round is a different step of the process. After pref night, potential new members must determine which sorority they are interested in joining.
Social: This information was collected through a video chat interview. All current members of the Greek organization and selected potential new members must participate in pref night. The significance of dressing in more formal attire for pref night may be out of respect and to demonstrate that the matter is taken seriously.
On pref night, potential new members and current members of the organization must dress formally, often in all black clothing.
I recognized a similarity between this item and a different item collected- Fraternity Shake Out Clothing. It seems that formal attire is a common feature of both.
Material Folklore: South Korean Supersition – Chuseok
Country of Origin: South Korea
Informant: Jeeseob Jung
Date Collected: May 24, 2019
Jeeseob is a female Dartmouth student in the class of 2020. She was born in South Korea and attended boarding school in the United States. Before school, Jeeseob lived in South Korea with her family. Her family still lives there and continues to practice the tradition we collected.
Cultural Context: Chuseok is a very important tradition in South Korean culture. It occurs in mid-August and many individuals travel to be with their family to celebrate. Family plays a very important role, and it is believed that a connection must be made to both living and deceased family members to uphold the familial connection. The tradition stems from autumnal harvests, where the family would connect with their ancestors and celebrate the conclusion of the agriarian season.
Social Context: The superstition was relayed through an in-person interview with the informant at Dartmouth College. The superstition is practiced by the informant and her famiy each fall.
Text and Texture
Chuseok is celebrated by preparing a large feast for the family. However, before anyone can eat, the family must open the doors to allow their ancestoral spirits into the home. If one does not open the door, then the ancestors will be angry and is bad luck.
S: All right, so you can start your name and a little bit about your background.
J: Okay. My name is Jeeseob Jang. I’m from South Korea, and I am currently a ’20, and I went to boarding school in the States. But before that I lived in Korea like for my entire life, I guess.
S: And are there any like, you know, superstitions you guys have or beliefs in like bad spirits or traditions you do to ward off bad luck?
J: I guess like during during Korean or Chinese New Year, or like that’s also when we celebrate Korean New Year, I guess. Like if you… so it’s basically just honoring your ancestors like every year, we have like a large feast, and we put out all the food, but before we eat it we have to like cut all the fruit a certain way and like kind of arrange all the different foods like in different sections and then you always have to open the door so that the ancestors can or like the spirits can kind of come in and like feast on the food before we do, and so if we don’t do that, it’s technically bad luck because the ancestors will get angry. And so you always have to make sure to do that.
S: Is there a name for this tradition?
J: It’s called chuseok. Okay. Yeah.
S: All right. Awesome. Thank you so much.
Family is a very important aspect of the tradition, since all members of the family need to be present. We open the door so the ancestors can come.
The opening of the door is an item of homeopathic magic, since the open door symbolizes the welcoming of spirits into the home for the family meal.