Tag Archives: Fraternity

Fraternity Rush Party Themes

Title: Fraternity Rush Party Themes

General Information about Item:

  • Customary/Material Folklore
  • Informant: W.M.
  • Date Collected: 05/25/2020

Informant Data:

  • W.M. is a male Dartmouth College student. He is unaffiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: The celebration of new members into a fraternity is celebrated amongst the brothers in a social event open to campus as well. The celebrations include a theme, sometimes a traditional theme of the house or decided on each year. Members of the house, new and old, dress in costumes in accordance with the theme and celebrate together.
  • Social Context: Social gathering is a common event put on by a fraternity and open to the campus. In these instances, a theme for the party is decided on by the house and is put on, usually around the end of the rush process.

Item:

  • Many fraternities hold social gatherings before, during, and after the rush process. It is common for these to have themes decided on by the members, new and old, of the house hosting the gathering. Typically the new members are celebrated as the members all dress in costume and decorate the house for the gathering.

Collector’s Comments:

  • I found this tradition to be an interesting custom as it is open to non-members. The fraternity members are typically the ones deciding and dressing in theme, but then they open up the celebration to the campus as well.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Celebration
  • Costumes
  • Fraternity

House Families

Title: House Families

General Information about Item:

  • Customary Folklore
  • Informant: R.C. ’22
  • Date Collected: 05/19/2020

Informant Data:

  • R.C. is a male student at Dartmouth College. He is affiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: Families are small units of close individuals. The adoption of this technique into fraternity culture serves a similar purpose.
  • Social Context: House families are smaller groups in the house new members are sorted in to. These act as smaller and closer social groups for the new members in the house.

Item:

  • This specific fraternity gives its new members “families” within its members. These families consist of one to two new members and a handful of older members to serve as a resource during and after the rush process.

Collector’s Comments:

  • I found these families to be an interesting and useful way to help new members during the rush process. They stay families for life, long after active membership in the fraternity ends. In this specific example, the family the informant was in was easily dated back to Dartmouth alumni from 2014.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Lore
  • Family
  • Social

Fraternity House Song

 

General Information about Item:

  • Verbal folklore
  • Informant R.C.
  • Date Collected: 05/18/2020

Informant Data:

  • The informant is a current Dartmouth student. He is a member of the class of 2022 and is affiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: When rushing a fraternity, there is a sense of pride and community associated with the house and its members. Members are seen as “brothers” and the house is the “home” of its members. The singing of a song honors these two traditions.
  • Social Context: The collective act of singing together has always been associated with the idea of community. The singing of a house song is a social activity new and old members participate in to foster this principle.

Item:

  • There is a song made up by the fraternity members, that is sung to honor the house and its members. This is meant to help new members feel welcomed during the rush process (or directly after).

 

Collector’s Comments:

  • The use of a song to help new members feel part of a new community is not uncommon. I thought it was interesting to see the same type of welcoming folklore displayed in this process.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Verbal Folklore
  • Fraternity Rush
  • New Members

“TDX-mas”

“TDX-mas” Initiation/RitualScreen Shot 2016-05-31 at 4.41.43 PM

  • Informant Info
    • Sophomore Year
  • Type of Lore
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • Dartmouth Fraternity
  • Informant’s Comments
    • Taken light-hearted yet seriously as all brothers of the house partake in the festivity. The basement is completely covered in Christmas-styled wrapping paper. This is done for an end of the term party that the entire school is welcome to join.
  • Collector’s Comments
    • Anonymity in order to not reveal identity of fraternity and informant
    • Further research of publicly available fraternity information revealed that this practice is also done at other campuses that have this fraternity, such as MSU, dating back past 2010.

UCLA Initiation

Initiation/Ritual

  • Informant Info
    • Freshman year of UCLA (1983)
  • Type of Lore
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • UCLA Fraternity
  • Informant’s Comments
    • Taken very seriously while light-hearted as the event could last up to 12-24 hours. The freshmen were painted, blindfolded, then driven 30 minutes from UCLA’s campus to USC’s and then duct-taped to the flag pole in the center of campus at midnight. During this time, USC students would say profanities and throw items at the freshmen until they were cut down.
  • Collector’s Comments
    • Anonymity in order to not reveal identity of fraternity and informant

Keg Jumping

 

Winter Carnival Keg Jumping

keg jumping

  • Informant info
    • Junior fraternity member at Dartmouth College
  • Type of lore (verbal, material or customary), Genre, Subgenre
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • Banned tradition of fraternity
  • Informant’s comments
    • It was a tradition of our fraternity to have a keg jumping contest every winter carnival. Empty kegs would be lined up in the lawn and people would put on ice skates and a jump would be created to see who could jump the farthest. This was banned prior to my arriving at Dartmouth, but is a story that is always shared when joining the fraternity and is a defining story of our fraternity.
  • Collector’s comments
    • The fraternity is kept anonymous in order to protect the fraternity and the informant.

 

 

Fraternity Handshake

Greeting Handshake amongst brothershandshake

  • Informant info
    • Junior Fraternity member at Dartmouth College
  • Type of lore (verbal, material or customary), Genre, Subgenre
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • This handshake is done at meetings, all fraternity events, and when brothers see each other around campus
  • Informant’s comments
    • The handshake is relatively easy to perform. The handshake is 4 fingers over, and the pinky under. We learn this handshake during the initiation ceremony and it continues as a tradition amongst brothers even after college.
  • Collector’s comments
    • The fraternity is key anonymous in order to protect the fraternity and the informant

 

 

Origin Story for “Boom Boom Lodge”

 Title:

Origin Story for “Boom Boom Lodge”

Informant info:

Class of 2018 at Dartmouth. He is from New York City and has been a member of his fraternity since September, 2015. He is 20 years old.

Type of lore, Genre, Subgenre:

Verbal Lore – Legend

 Language:

English

 Country of Origin:

United States

Social/Cultural Context:

The informant is a member of an anonymous fraternity at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Approximately 70% of Dartmouth students participate in Greek Life at Dartmouth. Greek organizations are some of the only social spaces on the Dartmouth campus. The Greek organizations all have their own traditions and lore which define them. The following is a legend which describes the origin of the informant’s fraternity’s

 Transcript:

“We all call our frat the Boom Boom Lodge, or the Lodge for short. Most people don’t really know what that means or think it means something else, but they tell us the story a few days into our first term in the house. So in the prohibition era, there was a guy living in Golden Coast who was a bootlegger. I think he made rum in his room. There was a guy who was in my fraternity who went to the bootlegger’s room and stole a bottle of rum and the bootlegger saw him running away and followed him back to the house. The guy broke into the house and shot the guy who stole the bottle twice in the chest and killed him. That’s where the term ‘Boom Boom’ came from.”

Informant’s Comments:

The story is very important to the brotherhood. Everyone calls the house “the Lodge,” and most people don’t know why. The story helps the current brothers relate to the history of the house and to past members, specifically the one who got killed.

Collector’s Comments:

This story is a great example of a legend to describe the origin of a part of the fraternity. It is verbal lore shared by all members of the fraternity.

Tags/Keywords:

Legend, Boom, Origin, Fraternity