Two anonymous Dartmouth alums write in this week with a brilliant guide to the Hanover Greek scene. Don’t go to Dartmouth? Read anyway, out of respect to the men and women whom history alleges invented beer pong.
On a campus where there’s not much else to do than drink, where one spends the majority of his/her time drinking is, understandably, a matter of utmost importance. Hence, the frenzy surrounding fall rush — that magical time of year when the powers that be (juniors and seniors) spend three days deliberating over which obsequious sophomore guys and girls they will deign (or beg, depending on the social cachet of the house) to let join their respective fraternity or sorority.
Despite frequent attempts by school administrators to curtail the “vibrancy” of the Greek system, about half of all guys, and an even higher percentage of girls, join one of Dartmouth’s 15 frats and nine sororities. In the interest of time (and relevance — some of the houses technically considered “fraternities” by the college are actually minority “affinity houses,” and are thus, for the most part, totally marginalized by the rest of the overwhelmingly white Greek system), here’s an abridged, house-by-house guide to frat life at Dartmouth:
- Alpha Chi (Athletic affiliation: none): A solid enough bunch of guys who throw the occasional well-attended pig roast but mostly keep to themselves. Not a major party destination, but not a bad place to have a beer, either.
- Alpha Delta (Athletic affiliation: Rugby, soccer, squash): An absolutly filthy sty of a place, as one might expect from the frat that inspired Animal House. Pissing and projectile vomiting are standard practice in the basement (even during crowded parties), which literally doubles as an open sewer. An ecletic bunch, the house has shifted in character in recent years from rugby meatheads to scrawny hipsters who think they’re cooler than they actually are, which is why Heorots and Theta Delts (see below) consistently get hotter women.
- Bones Gate (Athletic affiliation: none): A vaguely secretive house that always seems to be at odds with the administration, which is why they’re usually on probation. A bit more “alternative” (read: more experimental drug use) than the mainstream houses, Bones Gate is perhaps best known for serving “Cutters” during major party weekends, a drink of dubious origin but of definitive effect (euphoric inebriation).
- Chi Gam (Athletic affiliation: Baseball, tennis, date rapists): Historically, the sleaziest house on campus. Has tried to clean up its roofies-laden reputation of late, but that hasn’t stopped the brotherhood from throwing parties specifically tailored to freshman girls. A disproportionate percentage of the house hails from Long Island and New Jersey, essentially rendering Chi Gam the Meatpacking District of frat row.
- Gamma Delt (Athletic affiliation: football): Big steaky meatheads, and the sort of girls who are attracted to a bunch of guys who haven’t been competitive in the Ivy League in almost a decade.
- Heorot (Athletic affiliation: hockey, skiing, crew): Fun fact #1: Heorot derives its name from a mead hall described in Old English epic Beowulf. Fun fact #2: No one in Heorot is smart enough to have ever read Beowulf. Boasting the highest percentage of athletes of any of the houses, Heorot is where intelligent discourse goes to die. It’s also where most attractive freshman girls and sorority sluts go to get rummaged by large hockey defensemen from Saskatchewan. Heorot parties are perhaps best known for turning into Top 40-fueled raves at 3 a.m., which is awesome or awful, depending on whether you are one of the aforementioned females.
- Psi U (Athletic affiliation: sailing, squash, gay bashing); SAE (Athletic affiliation: none): Two seperate houses joined by one common bond: extrodinary douchebaggery. Psi U and SAE embody every abhorrent stereotype you can conjure up about an Ivy League fraternity: elitist, WASPY, rich and preppy. (UPDATE 11:53 a.m.: A Psi U alum informs us they’ve recently had openly gay members.)
- Sig Ep (Athletic affiliation: none): The house for those that don’t want to be in a real house. Big, gay-friendly, and an all-around bunch of nice guys. Not exactly bedding the hottest girls on campus, but they’re not trying to bang your girlfriend, either.
- Sigma Nu (Athletic affiliation: Dungeons and Dragons aficionados): The nerdiest house on campus, bar none. No one really knows anything about the house ‘cuz no one actually goes there.
- Theta Delt (Athletic affiliation: Lacrossse, basketball, football): Conservative jocks/ex-jocks and the girls who love them (Stepford Wife hot, emotionally and intellectually vacant). Dude, bump that Van Morrison and O.A.R. a little louder, dude? For shizzle. Robert Frost was a brother, and he didn’t graduate. Go figure.
- Tri Kap (Athletic affiliation: none): The only legitamately diverse house on campus (lots of Asians, increasing number of blacks). Double Asian stereotype alert: hypercompetitive about beer pong.
- Phi Delt (Athletic affiliation: none): “You don’t like us…We don’t care,” proclaimed an old Phi Delt shirt. Amen. Phi Delt returned to campus in ’03 after being derecognized for attempting to burn down Chi Gam. The vast majority of campus wishes sleeping dogs had stayed down. The cultish, socially inept brothers of Phi Delt strive to embody the “Good Old Boy” Dartmouth mentality — that is to say, loud, obnoxious and entirely loathsome. Phi Delts do have a loyal coterie of groupies from the dregs of near-by sororities, though you’d be hard-pressed to find an attractive (even for Dartmouth) one in the bunch. Memo to anyone forced to suffer the terrible fate of attending a Phi Delt party: they piss in their punch.