Between frat house fiestas and party suite soirees, it would seem there would be no need for any other festivities at Yale. But the residential colleges and the Yale College Council make sure that there are plenty of large, college-funded activities that enable you to dress up, dance and theme-party with the best of them.
Exotic Erotic — Timothy Dwight College (September)
The first major theme party of the year, the motto of Exotic Erotic is “the less you wear, the less you pay.” Less daring guys show up in boxers; more daring guys show up in jock straps. Exotic Erotic allows students the opportunity to be creative with everyday items such as duct tape and bubble wrap and prepares them for the naked parties held throughout the year.
Never sponsored by a college’s SAC, naked parties are often sponsored by the Pundits, a senior society of pranksters. Keeping your G-string on is not an option at these gatherings. Hosts often provide plastic bags so attendees can keep all of their clothes together (no, you don’t have to walk through the streets of New Haven in the nude — you disrobe when you get there).
Inferno — Pierson College (Halloween)
The place to pre-party before the Yale Symphony Orchestra’s annual Halloween show, Pierson packs its dining hall with dancing costumed Yalies. Though many of the colleges host their own “Liquor Treats,” an alcoholic twist on the Halloween tradition, Pierson usually has the most rooms with these delightful beverages for students to enjoy before attending the dance.
Safety Dance — Silliman College (November)
Held in Commons, the Safety Dance gives students the opportunity to break out their leg warmers and slap bracelets. The Safety Dance is one of the most popular events of the year and is the only major party where you can groove to Tiffany and Duran Duran.
Casino Night — Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges (November)
A major two-college undertaking, Casino Night is very formal and very posh. With gambling tables set up in Stiles and a swing dance floor in Morse, students mingle in evening gowns and tuxedos with martinis and cigars. The colleges offer swing dance lessons in the week before the event and an open bar for students over 21. Casino Night was dubbed one of the country’s 10 best college parties by Rolling Stone magazine in 1995 and usually lives up to its reputation.
Holiday Balls — Various Colleges (December)
Several of the colleges host dances during the weekend after fall semester classes end. The balls boast various themes and varying degrees of formality, and all are usually open to everyone in Yale College for a night of “ball-hopping.”
Winter Ball — Yale College Council (January/February)
Yale ensures that the daughters of Eli get their money’s worth out of their prom dresses with Winter Ball. The YCC coordinates the event, which is usually held in Commons and decorated with a winter wonderland theme. Traditionally, there was only a band and ballroom dancing, but last year the YCC added a disc jockey, too.
The spring semester has few large-scale parties, but the fraternities pick up the slack with parties such as DKE’s Feb Club and various liquor luge events. Every year, on the day before Spring Fling, DKE hosts Tang, a beer-chugging competition between male and female teams from each college. Jonathan Edwards College also hosts Spider Ball, a formal dance only for JE students and their dates during this weekend.
Spring Fling — Yale College Council (April)
The YCC spends the entire year planning its biggest event, Spring Fling. Yale usually shells out big money to attract big-name bands such as Guster, Ben Harper, Wyclef Jean and the Indigo Girls. On the Sunday after spring semester classes end, the YCC turns Old Campus into a carnival complete with rides, games and cotton candy. If it’s a nice day, students don shorts and sundresses, bring bottles full of “juice,” and dance with the band before beginning a reading week full of seminar papers and oral exams.
–Yale Daily News