200 Days in the Life of the College

Friday, April 29

Even without the fox trot, Greek formals still thrive

By Chip Larsen ’13

The chatter in the small house grows progressively louder as more and more guests arrive: young men in sports jackets and ties and young women in stunning formal dresses, all bearing bottles of champagne. The event is Delta Upsilon’s spring formal, and the place is a rented house in Clinton where several of the fraternity’s graduating seniors reside.

As the arrivals greet friends and pour themselves glasses of champagne, Jackson, the fraternity’s yellow Labrador, weaves between the forest of legs and makes a few new friends of his own. After an hour or so of festivities, two rented school buses arrive to transport the guests to Stonebridge Country Club in New Hartford, where the Hamilton entourage is greeted by an open bar and a generous offering of catered appetizers. The guests indulge in both before heading to the elegantly set tables to sit down. Pictures are taken and jokes are exchanged over the drinks and food, and soon the lights dim and the music grows louder. There’s a slow migration toward the dance floor as ties are loosened and sports coats are shed.

Once most of the revelers have exhausted themselves, DU’s president, Jason Kramer ’12, brightens the lights and calls for silence. It is time for senior poems, a longstanding DU tradition as the graduating seniors read original verse about their classmates. They are comical in nature, typically revisiting good times the seniors have shared during their four years together. The poems detail everything from seniors’ successes (or near-failures) in classes to their participation together in varsity sports to the parties they will never forget. As the seniors read, it is obvious that although tastes in clothes, music and fraternity-specific slang have changed over the years, the spirit of fraternity life at Hamilton remains the same.