Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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The Meaning of the Bonfire
As the Class of 1992 headed towards its 25th reunion this past June, its invitations signalled the importance of the bonfire in the Class’ memory. As you can see in the photo on the right (click on it to enlarge), the ‘92 freshmen in all their glory built a great bonfire themselves — even though it appeared at the time that they were the worst class ever.
No engineers from Buildings and Grounds (as FO&M was called then) were needed.
Addendum: Former Hanover Police Chief Nick Giaccone writes in:
Probably much to your dismay, I was really impressed with the Fire Chief’s well thought out response.
If I may, I want to give you some context into the birth and history of so-called traditions, and how we attempted to deal with their birth so they didn’t become traditions.
Touching the fire was something that developed since 1992. When it started to happen, we brainstormed if there should be a legal response. We just held our breath to see how the Court would react. To our surprise, the judge thought the behavior was ludicrous and dangerous and that there should be a penalty to thwart its behavior.
Quite some tradition. That said, I guess “traditions” have to start somewhere. I don’t recall what idiot upper class dreamt up this one. I guess that we’re not satisfied with “clothes-lining” the circling freshman. That behavior caused us to mingle the officers into the inner circle, ruining many a uniform jacket with burn holes.
It was the Texas A&M collapse [in 1999] that changed the shape of the bonfire, and also made changes in how College staff assisted in its construction. No longer would it be just freshman.
I also should mention that I ended up in the emergency room with a badly twisted ankle after being broadsided by a member of the worst class ever. The actual year escapes me.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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