We showed up to Whig Hall with cat food, hot sauce, liquor, gold fish, copies of the Declaration of Independence and gallons of milk. We were kept waiting out in the cold from about ten to twelve — two hours is typical waiting time for pledges. When the members finally picked us up, we were blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location. One of the older members eventually removed our blindfolds and told us that we were going to “prove our loyalty” with a series of brutal chugging games, exegeses and dialogue over the letters of James Madison, and physical punishments. We spent an hour drinking milk mixed with hot sauce and vomiting, and I almost completely broke down at one point from the sheer level of discourse over the definition of “state” in a world of increasingly global security concerns. And the goldfish — well, if you’ve heard anything about Dartmouth’s MUN chapter, you know what those were for. When we finally got back to our rooms, the sun was rising, and we were deeply concerned that my friend needed to be PMCed [taken to Princeton Medical Center, the nearby hospital, for emergency care—not to be confused with being ‘Princeton-Model-Congressed’, a hazing ritual too disgustingly budget policy-oriented to be described here].
I was gaveled, caucused and gerrymandered. The bipartisanship was so over-the-top awful that a lot of members wouldn’t even do it, but they never stopped the guys who wanted to force it on pledges.
They promised us women, Capitol-Hill internships and all the coke we could imagine. There were stories about members having wild orgies and whispers of working for the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] right out of college. And maybe I’m just a “wannabe” who did not have the stones or the in-depth knowledge of fiscal or environmental policy to survive the hazing.But the brutality of the pledging ordeal seems worse than any coked-up, inside-the-beltway lifestyle could possibly justify.
– MSS ’17. Illustrated by RLR ’16.