Thursday, November 4, 2010

#98: Dorm parties

Without a Greek system at Notre Dame (see #79), students have to rely on different ways than the stereotypical frat party to have their fun.  With a relatively small number of students living off-campus, part of this desire for large raging parties is quenched by the occasional house party, and part of it is satisfied by the even rarer multi-house bonanza (like PigTostal or St. Patrick’s Day).  However, the most common form of partying (that is incredibly unique to Notre Dame) are the dorm parties that ring out across campus every Friday and Saturday night.

Dorm parties are made possible by the incredibly relaxed rules on drinking in many of the men’s residence halls.  While underage drinking is technically not allowed by the rules of ResLife and the Notre Dame Administration, many of the rectors and hall staffs usually turn a blind eye to the consumption of beer within the walls of their hall (but do not extend the same courtesy to hard alcohol).  These rectors believe that since the students are going to act like college students no matter what they do, it is best for them to make their “poor” decisions in a somewhat safe environment within the dorms.  Likewise, because rectresses are usually irrational and crazy (see #59), dorm parties are de facto restricted to men’s dorms.

Dorm parties are a unique type of party which involves a lot of planning and teamwork (see #25).  The first hurdle in planning a dorm party is getting the beer in the dorm.  While hall staff will turn a blind eye to an actual party, they will confiscate beer if they see it.  This means that students must get a 21-year-old to purchase the beer, and then meet him at a discreet location such as Main Circle where the students (almost always freshmen) pick up the beer in duffle bags and carry it back to the dorm.  If a student is caught by police during this process, things will probably end up poorly for him and “pourly” for the beer. 

Once students have obtained beer and secured it in their rooms, the next step in planning a party is to publicize it.  While usually achieved by creating incredibly clever themes (even though almost nobody dresses to the theme), Notre Dame dorm parties usually have a corresponding Facebook event so that their organizers can invite all of the girls they know (men are not invited to dorm parties in another dorm). 

On the day of the party, students clear out all of the small furniture from one or two rooms in their section and make sure that any bars in nearby rooms are well-stocked.  After emptying small furniture and valuables from the rooms, plastic is used to wrap any dressers, desks or beds that might be remaining to prevent them from getting spilled or vomited on.  Notre Dame Students then set up sound systems with the perfect Notre Dame Playlist for the occasion.  Finally, beer is put on ice in a plethora of trash cans in any party room so that it can be easily accessible and cold when people arrive.

Once the party begins, Notre Dame Students turn off the lights in the party rooms (aside from some accent lighting like Christmas lights, strobe lights, or blacklights) and watch as the room fills until it is overflowing with people.  Inside the party room, Notre Dame Students “dance” and “drink” in near- complete darkness while things get really hot and people sweat profusely.  Outside the party room, RAs and rectors monitor the halls, but turn a blind eye to the debauchery happening within the party room.  As long as the doors stay closed, people stay out of the hallway, and nobody is found vomiting in the bathroom, hall staffs in most of the men’s dorms don’t care about what is occurring..  Once the clock strikes 2 A.M., dorm parties are promptly brought to a close by parietals and students drunkenly spill out of the parties and into the friendly confines of Reckers or LaFortune (see #14).

Notre Dame Students like dorm parties because they are a uniquely weird and dorky way of drinking that can  be found only at a school like Notre Dame.  They also like dorm parties for other reasons.  The men who host dorm parties like them because they give girls a reason to come to their rooms, and these parties make it so that the men don’t even have to go outside into the harsh South Bend weather (see #43) for a fun and eventful night of drinking.  Students also love dorm parties because their dark and crowded nature leads to plenty of dance floor makeouts (sometimes even accidentally), which always lends itself to the possibility of a Notre Dame Hook-Up only a few doors down in the man’s bedroom (see #21).  Furthermore, Notre Dame Students love dorm parties because underclassmen can host them on their own, and can avoid having to go to house parties hosted by people they don’t even know.  

However, the biggest reason Notre Dame Students like dorm parties is that they give them an opportunity to drink without risking their stellar reputations with ridiculous arrests.  Since police and NDSP don’t normally come in the dorms, the only people that can get a dorm party patron in trouble are the hall staff, and even when hall staff intervene in out-of-control parties, they usually don’t do much more than send people stumbling off to Reckers.  Notre Dame Students like the safety from arrest that dorm parties provide, and this is the primary reason they have such an affinity for dorm parties.          


  1. If you build it... they will come.

  2. i've heard of lewis having awesome parties...

  3. cavanaugh throws down. on the real

  4. false.
    Lewis > Cavanaugh

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  6. Your school is one of the least fun schools I've ever experienced