What Dartmouth Freshmen Think They Know
By Kelsey Anspach And Sara Kassir, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, November 9, 2012
Now that they’ve run around the bonfire, finished their first term of classes and told their fair share of embarrassing stories from their long journeys since September, it’s time to see what the '16s have learned about Dartmouth so far. We surveyed freshmen from different dorms to get a good sampling of the class’ knowledge on everything from the Dartmouth Seven to academic citations. Some of these students still haven’t got a clue, but others are maybe a little too tuned into campus culture already. But not to worry, '16s — no matter what you claim to know or not know about the College, our conclusion about you is still the same. We hope you’ve had a great fall, and you’re still the worst class ever.
1. What is The Mirror?
Most of you had no idea, although some of you got pretty close when you called it “a journal reflecting upon things” and “a newspaper”. You’re right, we should be a newspaper in ourselves because we’re that awesome, and good for you for realizing that calling it “The Mirror” hints on some sort of reflection — it may or may not have taken us three terms to figure that one out. But also, why are you answering this survey if you don’t even know where your information is going? Whatever, we’re happy that this campus is so trusting. Or maybe you saw the survey and were just dying to know the answers to these mysterious questions. Either way, we’re happy you could bear with us.
2. What is a citation?
We figured we might as well throw something mildly academic in the mix to balance the survey out. The Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning describes professors giving citations as a “way of adding luster to the highest possible grade.” Basically, if you rock out a class and the professor wants that to be recorded, he/she will throw an asterisk on your final letter grade on your transcript. It’s a good thing, '16s, not “what you put in a paper” or “what you get when you are written up for drinking.” The police and S&S aren’t the ones who give them to you — unless perhaps you do an outstanding job of being arrested or picked up? Please don’t try it.
3. What is the Ledyard Challenge?
Alright, ’16s, we couldn’t fool you here. Most of your answers were spot on, and we couldn’t have said it any better than this: “You go down to the docks, strip completely naked, swim over to Vermont where public streaking is legal, sprint back over to New Hampshire where streaking is illegal and put your clothes back on?” Okay, maybe we shouldn't have added the hesitant question mark at the end, but you all seem very into the nude traditions of Dartmouth and eager to participate in them. In fact, some of you even described an extended Ledyard Challenge of sorts where “you strip, swim across the Connecticut, swim back and then streak across campus.” Now that’s ambitious! If the Ledyard Challenge isn’t enough nudity for you, there’s always the opportunity to streak finals.
4. What is the purpose of Green Key?
We realized that some of these ’16s can articulate the purpose of Green Key better than we can. Like, what is the purpose of Green Key, anyway? From the fresh perspective of the ’16s, “It’s another excuse to have a big weekend!” Right you are. We’ll take any chance we get to have an excuse for four to seven straight days of raging, and when it’s outside in beautiful warm weather it all becomes exponentially better and makes up for that time your coat was stolen over Winter Carnival and you walked home in a wet, sweaty tank top. Everyone explains Green Key in a different way, although there are some things it is not — like, “to keep things eco-friendly” and “to listen to Macklemore — he’s coming this year, right?” Nice try, but no.
5. Explain the Dartmouth X.
We are in no way promoting the idea that this trend actually exists, but you guys pretty much nailed explaining this one. “Freshmen year for guys, you’re at the low point and girls are at the high point until you intersect at sophomore summer and then the trend continues until guys are on top senior year,” one optimistic ’16 said. Emphasis on the optimism. Those of you who didn’t get it right, worry not. There are lots of other things that determine whether or not a person is viewed as “desirable” at Dartmouth — don’t think that only your year can dictate this. Our favorite guess was a little out of left field — “The Dartmouth X is a secret society, a league of sorts. Occasionally, around campus you’ll see X’s where they mark their territory.” Apparently, they also hold their meetings in Sarner Underground. We’re glad that someone has come up with a use for it.
6. How many fraternities are there on campus? List them.
So when we asked you to list the frats on campus, a somewhat scarily high number of you were able to rattle all of them off correctly in less than 30 seconds. Is that impressive or disconcerting? We don’t really know. But when we asked you how many frats there were on campus in total, most of you didn’t even guess the number you had named — come on guys. If you just listed 17 frats (CORRECT!), why are you guessing 23? “Because there’s some sororities too,” isn’t an answer we were looking for. Oh, and apparently there’s a few hard guys in your class who think that “the only ones that matter are the four on Wheelock Street.” Okay, boys. We have a feeling your perceptions might change a bit once you realize just how far McLaughlin is from AD when it’s literally 40 degrees below freezing.
7. What did you get on your SAT/ACT?
Why did you give these to us?! You weren’t supposed to answer this. We were trying to trick you. You were supposed to refuse. Now we feel bad and are sorry if we made you feel uncomfortable — even though we might have been giggling inside when you trusted us enough to take us seriously. Now forget those scores ASAP!!!
8. What is Reds?
The first and last Monday of every term, a certain fraternity has a party featuring a special drink of a particular color that is also worn by the brothers. Reds is both the name of the event and the beverage itself. Unfortunately, most of your best guesses at explaining Reds was, “the new Taylor Swift album.” We too love when they play “We are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” in Collis, but that’s just so far from being close to right. A few of you, however, did nail this one — including the specification that “someone pulls the fire alarm every year.” Way to go!
9. Where is Topside?
Okay, maybe we tried to trick the ’16s on this one, considering that Topside is no longer and “Collis Market” has taken its place, even though it’s the same thing. And maybe we’re trying to seem cooler than we are because before we came, Topside was actually on the upper level of FoCo and actually fit its name. But we still like to think we’re infinitely more experienced and knowledgeable than the ’16s, so when they say that they think Topside is “one of those buildings by the gym,” we can correct them and say “Topliff” and revel in a brief moment of superiority.
OVERHEARD: '16 Edition.
"We’re starting a small frat in the River — add that to the list, too.”
“The Party at the End of the World is something at the end of Spring term — a festival of sorts. Drinks are served, and you dance like there’s no tomorrow."
"I honestly couldn’t tell you the purpose of Green Key. It could be something about a vegetable convention for all I know.”
“We usually migrate to wherever the parties are, but we always end up at TDX. I just keep going there, and I don’t really know why.”
“You can get a citation for literally anything on this campus — like for having a moped.”
After hearing the Dartmouth Decade explained: “Why is this sh*t so difficult!!!”
Oops! Freshman Survey Mistakes
Places people thought were fraternities — KDX, The Chirot, Beta Gamma, Beta something, Lamnda Unada Ambda
Dartmouth 7 locations that people forgot most frequently — BEMA, 50-yard line
List of mistaken abbreviations — FFB (First-Floor Berry): Flag football, First-Floor Baker, Facebook friend buddy; LNC (Late Night Collis): Living naturally constantly, Libertarian National Committee; FNR (Friday Night Rock): Friday night rage; CBG (Collis baked goods): Collis basement ground; BG (Bones Gate): Best girl, Beta Gamma
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FRAT?
TDX — 11 AD — 9 Beta — 9 Psi U — 7 Heorot — 6 Alpha Chi — 3 Phi Delt — 2 Tri-Kap — 2 Chi Gam — 1 GDX — 1 Those frats not mentioned received 0
Do you know what you're studying yet?
Undecided — 35.9% Economics — 20.5% Pre-med — 17.9% Other — 15.4% Engineering — 10.3%