Blacker Hovse FAQ

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Traditional Social Schedule

      Summer
      • Y Hike

      1st Term
      • Defend from Flems/Tommy's
      • Lounge Run
      • Black Hand Master Visits
      • Negative time Tommy's Run
      • Frosh BBQ
      • Cannes Party
      • Interhovse/Innerhovse
      • 200 Days
      • Friday the 13th Munth Parties
      • Secret Santa
      • Ski Trip

      2nd Term
      • Elections/Nominations
      • Movie Weekend
      • 100 Days

      3rd Term
      • Wine Tasting and Fondue
      • FUCKED/SUCKED
      • Hell Ride.
      • POSH
      • 50 Days
      • Ass Tea
      • BDR
      • Ditch Day
      • Graduation Party at Munth


    Summer

    • Y Hike
        The Caltech Y organizes hikes for the freshmen every year. Upperclassmen, and sometimes grad students, lead the hike. Typically there are 6 groups of 6 to 8 people that participate with a little less than half being frosh. The hikes are split into strenuous, intermediate and mellow groups. During the late 1980s and early 1990s almost all of the upperclassmen that participate were from Blacker. And not surprisingly a number of the frosh on the hike end up in Blacker.

    1st Term

    • Defend from Flems/Tommy's
        After picks are over and all of the frosh are accepted into their new Houses, the Flems go carroling. They walk through all of the Houses singing the Interhouse and other ribal songs. Over the years this had lead to great confrontation. In the mid to late 1980s, Blacker would attempt to lock the Flems in Blacker Courtyard and throw things at them. The Flems would break out.

        In 1988, the confrontation came to a head in Blacker. The Flems pre-emptively used Kryptonite bike locks to lock the Gates to Blacker courtyard. The Scurves kindly lent the Moles their diamond bladed circular saw and the locks were quickly cut through and replaced with new, unlocked ones. The Flems came and sang their way into the courtyard. As soon as they were in, the gates were shut and Kryponited shut. From the roof Mack Rhinelander (fr: 1984, left: 1995) and others shot fireworks at the trapped Flems while the Scurves assisted with their firehose. Luckily no one got hurt.

        The following year, 1989, Blacker decided to avoid the confrontation. They abandoned the courtyard early, leaving behind cookies for the Flems and headed to Tommy's. Afterwards was movies at House o' da Munth. "Heathers" and "The Highlander".

        In 1991 Blacker decided to bring back limited combat with the Flems. Blacker got out garden hoses and made lots of water balloons. All of the red ones were filled and set aside for the flews to use. Everything was kept as a clean waterfight. This tradition now continues with both sides enjoying it.
        I don't know when the tradition of going to Tommy's after accpeting the Frosh started. It was done in 1989 and every year since then. The whole Hovse goes to Tommy's, a Los Angels famous burger stand, in Eagle Rock for burgers and fries with chili.
    • Lounge Run
        And event that is held on the Monday a week following picks. The event is a challenge from the Pope to the frosh and has been held yearly since the 1950s. Only 6 frosh have succeeded. See here for more.
    • Black Hand Master Visits
        The Master dates from about 1970. He shows up to dinner the night following the Lounge Run. See here for more.
    • Negative time Tommy's Run
        The night that daylight savings time ends the clocks move back from 2am to 1am. In this Caltech wide tradition, you leave campus sometime between 1am and 2am (the first time) and drive to "Far Tommy's". This is the original Tommy's in Hollywood. Order and eat your food. Then drive back. It isn't too hard to arrive back on campus before you left.
    • Frosh BBQ
        Usually held at the House of John and Lynn Salmon (RAs until 2nd term 1990). Held early in the term this event of food and swimming has been going on since at least 1990. Typically the upperclassmen remind the frosh to baste themselves.
    • Cannes Party
        A Dance party held on the sleeping porch.
    • Interhovse (RIP)
        Usually in early November. After it was officially canceled after the 1989 event, Blacker continued to hold the party. In recent years it has been held 2nd term. See here for more.
    • 200 Days
        Senior drinking tradition held 200 days before graduation. This always falls on a Monday (starting Sunday/Monday at midnight). Most years this is the Monday before Thanksgiving. See here for more.
    • Friday the 13th Munth Parties
        Since before 1989 there has been a party at Munth every Friday the 13th.
    • Secret Santa
        Blacker's Christmas Party. Those that want to, sign up for Secret Santa. Social team gives randomly assignes each partisipant someone to give a cheap gift. All one knows is who they are giving to, and not who they are getting something from. Gifts are left under the Hovse Christmas tree. A Santa volunteer is found and everyone opens the presents one at a time.
    • Ski Trip
        After finals end 1t term, Blacker drives to somewhere for a week long ski trip. . See 2.34 for more.

    2nd Term

    • Elections/Nominations
        Currently, elections start the second week of 2nd term. Typically there is a Presidential election. The next week is the Secretarial election. The 5th week of the term is elections for the rest of the officers and "Real" nominations.
        Real nominations typically last three to five days. A ballot comes out for them relatively soon afterwards and is collected and tallied by the end of the term. The last few secretaries have put of counting the tally to 3rd term. See 2.36 for more.
    • Movie Weekend
        The exact weekend 2nd term varies. During movie weekend Blacker shows 48 hours of continuous movies in the Lounge. A big screen TV is rented or borrowed. As many mattresses as possible are scrounged up and laid on the floor.
    • 100 Days
        Senior drinking tradition held 100 days before graduation. This always falls on a Wednesday night and is held from 10:20 pm to midnight. 100 days typically falls in early March. See here for more.

    3rd Term

    • Wine Tasting and Fondue
        An afternoon social event consisting of what it sounds like. Many times it has been held in places that have pools, such as the former MOSH's house. This event has been going on yearly since at least 17 May 1975.
    • FUCKED/SUCKED
        Nth Underground Cannes-Kremlin Espionage Dance. N is a number that begins with F or S. At one point people actually danced after this event. Now it is a treasure hunt. Social team takes a number of photographs of campus and cuts them into little pieces. Each team starts with an envelope. They paste together the first photo. Then go to the location of that photo. There the team finds a 2nd envelope which contains yet another picture. There are usually 10 photos to be found. The first team to complete the 10th photo and return to the lounge wins. If a team gets truly stuck after 30 minutes they can call the social team, say "Oh high and mighty Social Team, we are truly and completely fucked," and social team will give them a clue.
    • Hell Ride.
        The frosh baracade themselves in Hell and play Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyrie" until the Upperclassmen break in and turn the music off. Typically the upperclassmen are in such a frenzy that there are no rule. Battering rams, axes, and circular saws are not uncommon. Structural damage has been done before. No one has died. This is a good thing. See here for more.
    • POSH
        A fancy dinner for the Hovse. For a number of years it was held at the Athenaeum until that got too expensive. Typically the Social Team picks a nice restaraunt in Pasadena.
    • 50 Days
        Senior drinking tradition held 50 days before graduation. This is a Thursday night usually in late April. See here for more.
    • Ass Tea
        Usually held on Alumni Day Weekend. The Tea dates back to the 1930s when there were associate members of the Hovse. Such members included Mrs. Blacker. The point of the Tea is to have a "respectable" event. Currently all Blacker alums and the entire faculty is invited so socialize with Moles on a Sunday afternoon. See 2.39 for more.
    • BDR
        This party is an acronym for the Houses that sponsor it. BDR stands for Blacker-Dabney-Ricketts and the party has been held at least since the mid 1980s. The division of labor is also based on past events. Dabney provides food. Ricketts provides alcohol. Blacker provides the bands. In 1985 or 1986 Blacker was too poor to have a party. So they offered to host one in Blacker (and thus have to clean it up) if Dabney and Ricketts provided the refreshments. The other two houses agreed. So BDR is always held in Blacker courtyard.
        Third term 1997, Ricketts flaked and only Blacker and Dabney held the party.
        BDR was not held in 1998 or 1999. In 2007 no one had heard of it.
    • Ditch Day
        Annual Caltech Senior event where the seniors leave behind puzzles when they leave campus for the day. If the underclassmen succeed, they get some "bribes" left behind by the seniors. If seniors are caught on campus, they are duct taped to trees. Only the seniors know which day Ditch day really is. All they will say is "Ditch Day is tomorrow, frosh". This is almost always 3rd term.
    • Graduation Party at Munth
        Every year since at least the mid 1980s there has been graduation party at House o' da Munth.
Page last updated 16 January 2007 FAQ author: Benjamin Smith (fr: 1989, grad 1994).
version: 2.1
Last modified: 19 January 2017, Copyright 2015
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