A Spring Weekend Preview


If you’re a ’17 (or have the same D-Plan as my ’14 friend who hasn’t been on for spring since his freshman year), you’re probably wondering why people are making such a fuss about this weekend.

“Aren’t there still two weeks until Green Key?”

Well, my spring-naïve friends, get excited. In my opinion, this weekend (also known as “Pigstick weekend” or “Derby weekend”) is even better than Green Key. Bold statement, I know.

Why, you ask? Options. There are so many totally unique things to do on Saturday alone that if you’re not completely wiped out by 5 p.m., you’re doing something wrong.

Here’s a brief rundown of what’s going on.


Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity hosts Pigstick on Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m.. The event takes place in the backyard of AXA and generally includes live music, a pig roast and lots of dancing. The party is open to the entire campus and can be heard all the way down Webster Ave.

My friends in the fraternity have been checking the weather forecast for days, but something tells me the brothers of AXA won’t be fazed even if it rains. (That something may or may not be an online countdown to Pigstick that one of their brothers sent me over a month ago.)


Most people on campus have a love/hate relationship with Derby. I’d argue that which side you fall on has a lot to do with whether or not you’ve been able to snag an invite to the exclusive party.

Hosted by Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority every spring, Derby-lovers would likely explain it as a perfect sunny day where everyone gets dressed up in their springtime best (sunhats and all) and lives it up in the yard of KDE. Those less fond of the event would call it an excuse for people to put on some Lilly Pulitzer and take photos before heading to Pigstick.

Bones Gate Derby

This Saturday, Bones Gate fraternity also hosts an event they call Derby. You do not, however, want to show up at BG tomorrow in your sundress. In the afternoon, the brothers of BG turn their yard into a giant mud pit and anyone is welcome to dive right in. Participants will be impossible to miss as they jump around for the rest of the day, smearing mud all over your aforementioned white Lilly Pulitzer dress.


Another weekend invite-only event is Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity’s SPEakeasy, which takes place on Saturday night. The party generally involves live music, card tables and everyone attempting to find ’20s-era ensembles to wear.

First-Year Family Weekend

If you’re a freshman, this weekend might mean that your parents are on their way to Hanover at this very moment. Events for the weekend run from the traditional campus tours and barbecues to faculty lectures and an a cappella showcase.

Pros: they’re probably going to pay for you and everyone from your freshman floor to go to Molly’s, and their expression when the Baker Tower bells ring at 6 p.m. will remind you how beautiful our campus really is when you stop to look up from your blitz for a second.

Cons: Having to modify your word choice so everything isn’t an acronym and trying to keep your parents entertained for 48 hours in Hanover when they don’t have classes or pong to take up their time is a challenge. Oh, and good luck trying to think of a legitimate reason to ditch them at 1 p.m. on Saturday so you can go eat, drink and/or dance at AXA.

  • Harriett

    The Caribbean Carnival is this weekend as well. As a dynamic tool for self-expression and cultural exploration, the Caribbean Carnival is a celebration of life. It will take place this Saturday from 3-7PM on Mass Row. The event will feature a live steel band, a ragga jam choreographer and dancer, a Caribbean DJ, a large group of students dressed in costume, and an array of authentic Caribbean foods. Last year, it was an incredibly successful event that drew 300 – 400 individuals, a mixture of students, faculty and staff as well as some students from the surrounding colleges and universities. For these reasons, the event is worth at least an honorable mention.

  • Flannery Maurice Cherington

    There are various problematic structures and ideologies regarding a Derby-inspired event, and I am sure that we, as a Dartmouth community, could learn from the extensive literature written about the ridicule of WASP culture, the Kentucky Derby’s construction as a drinking holiday in the United States, the cultural appropriation of sun hats and the inappropriate usage of haute clothing, and the exploitation of groups of pygmy people and equines for the sake of business opportunities.

    As a New England born, prep-school raised, 8th-generation man of pre-colonial origins, it is sadly unsurprising that a “I was born into money”-culturally-themed party is seen as a casual venture for such a privileged institution such as Dartmouth. I believe that social consciousness and cultural awareness is something that we need to work on as a community.

    **Events that mock and marginalize others certainly do not reflect our Principle of Community and do not reflect values of inclusion, respect and a care for others.**