Sircus: So much to screw

On Friday, Berkeley, Pierson and Trumbull will all host their annual “Screws.” The campus will overflow with students wearing ridiculous get-ups at the behest of their roommates, scouring the grounds to find their respective dates. The flood of romantic hopefuls highlights a larger problem with college screws — hosting multiple dances on a single night mars the purported intentions of the screws themselves.

As a freshman, I’ve seen the mounting stress among my classmates as the screw deadline draws nearer. Much of the stress may be seen as superfluous but, to many, the screws are somewhat of a big deal. If you can, hearken back to your first high school dance — an event that, in retrospect, was probably nothing special. Beforehand, though, procuring a date conjured nerves that made the night seem like a much bigger ordeal than it really was. Many in the freshmen class are likely experiencing the same phenomenon as their screw date approaches. There are a number of reasons why “screwers” and “screwees” fret in the days and weeks leading up to the dance; they want to find a compatible partner for their roommates (at least the nice ones do); they want a date of their own with whom they can enjoy the evening; and — get this — some may even hold darker desires, hoping to end the night by getting “screwed” in another way.

When Berkeley, Pierson and Trumbull all choose the same night for their dances, the confluence can derail an effort to match one’s roommate with a very special someone. Any friend, romantic interest or blind date that resides in or is screwed for any of the other hosting-colleges is rendered ineligible. What happens to the Berkeley student asked to go with a compelling Pierson date? What about the Trumbull-Pierson couple who long ago agreed to go with each other to their respective screws, only to find out that they fell on the same day? (Full disclosure: that’s my situation.) At least when Morse and Stiles hosted their events on the same day, they joined forces to throw a larger, more inclusive bash. In this case, however, those who desire the company of someone in one of the rival screw-throwing colleges is forced to choose between their dance or their date’s — a decision that can diminish or complicate what should otherwise be a fun, college-and-romantic-bonding night.

I recognize that the situation still leaves nine available colleges — full of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes from which to choose. Clearly it’s still possible to enjoy oneself at a screw going stag or with a less than perfect date. However, the fact that three colleges host major annual events on a single evening creates a conflict of interest for many on campus. It highlights a larger problem at Yale — there is a marked lack of communication between colleges when it comes to choosing dates for dances, shows or other major events. When overlap occurs, we are bombarded with substantial events that we wish to attend; sadly, there are only so many hours in a day. Of course, this is a good problem to have. It speaks to the active and vibrant community on campus, the residential college’s awesome offerings, and the busy lives we all lead at school. Yet, it also means that week after week, show after show, and screw after screw, we are regrettably forced to compromise, forgoing one event (or date) so that we may attend another. With a little more communication, we could help diminish the problem and hopefully, get a little more screwed.

Joel Sircus is a freshman in Trumbull College.


  • River Tam

    > However, the fact that three colleges host major annual events on a single evening creates a conflict of interest for many on campus.

    Pettiest thing the YDN has ever had a column about? It’s close.

  • YaleMom

    Three events on one evening? What a Sircus!!!

  • wlys

    Joel, do you consider the time you took to write this article time well spent?

  • JEThirteen

    I have to agree with River Tam. Other articles may have been worse written or more outrageous in their shortcomings, but I doubt that there has ever been one as pointless as this. What is the issue? Is it (gasp!) that the colleges from time to time schedule their events at the same time? Or (shriek!) that there is much to do on campus, and nobody can be in two places at once? As unfortunate as these situations are, they are not uncommon at a university with a socially-active student population. And if we require the organisers of every second event to sit through some committee meeting before choosing a date and time, then we shall only arrive at the opposite problem – that of never having any college events on campus, because few people I know would volunteer to organise such things if this required that they put themselves through yet another bureaucratic machine just to ensure that no two screws ever fall on the same evening.

    On another note, I couldn’t help but laugh at the mentality of the author as expressed in this article. He may attempt to disclaim responsibility for the views expressed of screws by attributing them to his nameless peers, but the melodrama of his writing betrays just how much he himself is invested in (and sympathises with) this collective hysteria. In one paragraph, he squirms in anxiety at the apparently daunting task of ‘procuring a date’, a labour made only more difficult because, due to other screws going on at the same time, there are a mere 4000 Yalies from which to choose a date, not 5000. A similar uneasiness – perhaps the last vestiges of his middle-school self – comes through in his bashful revelation that ‘some may even hold darker desires’. Does he mean to suggest that some people at Yale are looking for casual sex? I had no idea. As for my own college screws, all I ever did was ‘fret in the days and weeks leading up to the dance’, searching for that ‘very special someone’ with whom I might enjoy a ‘fun, college-and-romantic-bonding night’. I would quote even more but for the fact that this kind of language is painfully awkward. My typing fingers are now bleeding.

  • penny_lane

    1. I went to two different screws in one night a couple times when I was there. Not a huge deal.

    2. Technically, for your college screw, you’re supposed to set your roommate up with someone from your own college. It’s meant to get people in the same college to get to know each other better. That’s why no one worries too much about scheduling a bunch of screws together on the same night. For Yale-wide screw-date opportunities, you have the Freshman Screw coming up shortly.