Tap Night rages

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Photo by Ken Yanagisawa.

Students dining in Commons on Thursday witnessed a male student dressed as a pregnant woman pretending to give birth on a Commons table with the help of a fake midwife.

On Thursday, campus was invaded by students dressed as pink dinosaurs, astronauts and Aladdin — with his monkey sidekick, Abu — as members of the junior class sought to fulfill their induction requirements for Yale’s secret societies. Commonly known as Tap Night, the event is one of Yale’s oldest traditions and serves as the culmination of society tap week, which began on April 3.

“I was asked to be a famous fictional character,” said a student outside Saybrook College dressed as a Super Mario character, who asked to remain anonymous. “When [Tap Night’s] done just for fun, it’s really great.”

Many juniors were asked to keep their schedules free for the afternoon to participate in the festivities.

In the early afternoon, one junior girl donned a floor-length red cape and black mask outside the Women’s Center, reciting Latin.

“I’m reciting Latin, that’s all I’ll say,” she said.

Many students in festive attire, busy with their induction activities, declined to comment. Among these were men wearing black capes, veils and masks, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and various Disney princesses.

A female student dressed as the Little Mermaid holding a dining hall fork stood on Chapel Street and smiled at bystanders.

“I am not allowed to speak,” she mouthed.

Further down on Chapel Street, a junior pretending to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast passionately sang songs from the Disney film’s soundtrack. Outside the Apple Store on Broadway, two students dressed as Harry Potter and Dobby asked pedestrians for socks.

Meanwhile, on Cross Campus, two juniors dressed as Princess Leia and C-3PO from the Star Wars series stood near the Women’s Table, gesturing with their hands.

“We’re pretending to use the force to ward off you passerbies,” the male student dressed as C-3PO said. “But we don’t have the force actually, because I’m a robot, and she’s a woman.”

A student in a gorilla suit accosted pedestrians as they passed Berkeley College on Elm Street, tossing banana peels at their feet. He chased one passerby down Elm Street, causing her to scream and take refuge in the bushes lining Berkeley College, losing her glasses in the process.

A mock Yoshi was also spotted on Cross Campus. True to her character, she stuck her tongue out at pedestrians and pretended to lick them. A few blocks North, towards the Grove Street cemetery, students were spotted in gray onesies carrying fishbowls.

A small “silent rave” took place at around 6 p.m. on Old Campus, featuring students dressed in black dancing without music.

Thursday’s festivities followed a week of pre-tap activities. On Monday evening, one society held a competitive and exuberant game of musical chairs in Bass Cafe for newly tapped members.

Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry reminded students in an email a few days prior to tap week of the Undergraduate Regulations and state laws that govern harassment, vandalism and alcohol and drug use. Dean Gentry reminded students to take responsibility for their actions on Tap Night and that all hazing processes, including blindfolding, would not be tolerated.

Yale’s oldest senior society, Skull and Bones, was founded in 1832.

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