Through My Spectacles: Dolphy Day Decoded


By Amari D. Pollard '17, News & Features Editor

After Dolphy Day last year I wrote a rather harsh article titled, “My first Dolphy Day not living up to the hype,” in which I criticized the tradition, failing to understand the point of designating a day to skip class, get drunk and party. I received quite a bit of backlash after that article was printed, and after reading it myself having experienced Dolphy Day for the second time, I extremely dislike the freshman who wrote that. She just sounded uptight and bitter [probably because she wasn’t allowed to fully participate due to the women’s lacrosse team’s 48 hour rule].

So now, more than a year later, I would like to apologize for her lack of understanding. Don’t blame her though, she was naive, inexperienced. But she knows better now, and here is her retraction:

Dolphy Day is like the college version of prom. I mean, it doesn’t require you to wear an elaborate gown [or tux] or rent a limo or have a date, but it gives you the same feeling. There’s this unquenchable excitement that bubbles in your stomach until the day arrives, and when it does, you feel like anything is possible. It’s the day where you [meaning the liquor inside of you] build enough courage to talk to the person you’ve been drooling over for more than a semester; it’s the day when you can smoke something questionable in broad daylight and no one says anything; it’s the day when you stop thinking about your lack of rhythm and refuse to stop dancing near the dejay booth by the PAC even after the day’s events are over. But it’s also more than that—Dolphy Day is a day when you can just. . .be.

For months we students have stared at computer screens writing papers, falling asleep doing homework, listening to teachers lecture on and on and on about art history and ethical dilemmas and Lord Byron; and this one day we don’t have to do any of it. The pressure you feel as the school year comes to an end is almost unbearable. The best way I can describe it is like having a balloon being blown up with helium inside your head everyday, and you’re just waiting for the inevitable moment when it, and you along with it, pop. Sometimes you just need a day when you can forget; forget about the papers and the grades and the sports and the jobs, and just allow yourself to have fun.

So many people, like my former freshman self, trash Dolphy Day because they say it’s an awful display of behavior: kids are sloppily drinking, they’re throwing bottles. . .but it’s also one of the biggest displays of community on campus to happen all year. We’re all just people, soaking in the sun and peacefully enjoying one another’s company.

I mean, we’re young. We have the rest of our lives to work and act proper and do all those adultlike things you’re supposed to do,  but we don’t have that much time to be in college and experience these moments of absolute carefreeness. Moments which will gradually fade once we leave Le Moyne and get jobs and start families. So I choose to take advantage of my youth, in college, and enjoy Dolphy Day every year whether I can fully participate or not. I want to relish every moment and every experience at Le Moyne that I can, while I can, and that includes Dolphy Day.