Birth Control Available?
At Dick's House, which is home to the College Health Service.
Best Places to Meet Guys & Girls
- The Green in spring
- Webster Avenue on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday
- Kresge Fitness Center on weekday afternoons
Best Places to Hook Up
- BEMA (Big Empty Meeting Area)
- Baker Stacks
- Football Field-50 yard line
- The Green
- Top of the Hop
- President Wright's lawn
- The Graveyard
What Dartmouth lacks in academic competitiveness, it makes up for in social competitiveness. Dartmouth's geographic isolation breeds a very insular social environment. For the overwhelming majority of Dartmouth students, having a social life means getting involved in the Greek system, which really means the fraternity system because even though sororities are a recognizable presence on campus, various factors make it much more difficult for them to host parties that are accessible to the entire campus. There is an unspoken hierarchy to the Greek houses on campus and students certainly tend to choose their activities, hangout spots, and even, sadly, their friends on the basis of that ineffable quality known to the young and impressionable everywhere as "cool." Hangout nights are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday-that's four nights out of seven, leaving the typical student with scant time to get that pricey Ivy League education that his or her parents are usually footing the bill for. Two words that summarize the little known darker side of the Dartmouth social scene the best are "rage" and "blackout." "Rage" is a Dartmouth-centric term meaning to drink copious amounts of alcohol, play beer pong, dance, and party continuously into the predawn hours-the sense of angst the term implies is perhaps no mere coincidence. "Blackout," certainly the better known of the two words, is a quasi-medical term meaning to temporarily loose the ability to form new memories due to the excessive intake of alcohol. Parents, especially, would be surprised to hear the casual usage of this latter term among Dartmouth students.
Hookups or Relationships?
Considering the situation most Dartmouth students find themselves in-cramming by day and frequenting fraternity basements on a nightly or near nightly basis-it shouldn't be surprising that true love is a commodity that's in precious short supply on campus. If you were to ask any Dartmouth student, male or female, they'd probably tell you that love is just not something that's prioritized, and that, frankly, there's no time for it. However, there's time enough for sex because it's quick and easy and simply a matter of fulfilling a pesky biological urge and raising one's social profile ever so slightly in the process. Whether consciously or unconsciously, sex is treated as a matter of practical necessity to be handled as efficiently and transactionally as possible by most students. As for burning, self-denying desire, unshakable trust, lasting commitment, and all the other emotional baggage that something deep and sincere like a relationship brings with it, most Dartmouth students would be inclined treat that stuff as some kind of alien, retrograde sentimentality. Of course, there are very real institutional reasons why this is the case. Ten-week terms make for a very brisk academic pace, and the D-Plan's emphasis on individualized off-terms and study abroad programs work against the few long-term relationships that do manage to get established. One can't help but shake the feeling that in the scramble to remain on top as an Ivy League high achiever in what is ultimately a highly competitive academic and social setting, something very important and human is being ignored.
Best Places to Meet Guys/Girls
Most hookups are initiated at weekend parties. Many students are acquainted with their "random" partner from an activity or through a mutual friend and use alcohol to bypass that extensive, unnecessary "getting-to-know-you" stage. The campus is small enough that you can see your crush almost every day with minimal effort. Extracurricular activities are a great way to expand your pool of friends, which becomes a pool of potential hookup partners come Friday night. Beer pong (played with paddles at Dartmouth, unlike Beirut), is used universally as a poor man's date. As with birds, grass, and everything else, relationships tend to blossom anew come spring. Everybody becomes infinitely hotter when all that winter clothing is shed. Studly men and buxom ladies summarily trot out to the Green to study, toss a Frisbee, and flash their hot bods.
Most Dartmouth students take extra care to make themselves look presentable. The general protocol is preppy, but with a North Woods twist. Fleeces (North Face, Columbia) are uncannily popular with both sexes, and it's not uncommon for the entire campus to receive a blitz from some unlucky sap attempting to reclaim the North Face jacket he or she lost at a frat house the night before. A lot of students do their shopping on Web sites of manufacturers like J.Crew, Banana Republic, and American Apparel-this way, they can have all the latest fashions delivered right to their Hinman Boxes. Jockwear and Dartmouth gear of all sorts are also pretty popular-every student has at least a couple articles of clothing that he or she purchased in town at Traditionally Trendy or the Dartmouth Coop.