Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/16/14
Primary Language: English
Just the other day one of my best friends had “pinned” his girlfriend of three years and so I sat him down to talk about the act of pinning and what it meant to him. He is a student at USC and a senior.
Me: Please explain, “pinning” to me.
Informant: It’s a tradition at USC and I think all across the nation in Greek life but not sure about that. It’s really just a way for me to express my love and appreciation for [name] as we get close to graduation.
Me: Right, but what actually happens during the ceremony?
Informant: The girls do a whole bunch of ritual shit on their side that I don’t know about, but the guys all get dressed up in suits and each take a rose to the girl getting pinned. Also the couple involved both have two of their best friends give speeches that are usually funny. After that the guy gives his fraternity pin to the girl, which is suppose to signify him giving up his dedication to the fraternity and giving it to her. Then the girls do some of their sorority songs and whatever and everyone goes to the 90.
Me: Does this happen often?
Informant: Not at all I have only seen three in my fraternity since I have been here.
Me: So this is a big event that everyone shows up to?
Informant: Ya pretty much, its during Monday Night Dinner, which is the most popular meal of the week so most of the house shows up.
Me: How many people would you say?
Informant: I’d say like 60 people from each house.
This long-standing custom between couples on the Row shows how strong the brotherhood and sisterhood becomes throughout the years. I found it amazing that so many people would show up to support this “pinning” when they probably aren’t even that close to the couple. This custom also shows the importance placed on the guy’s allegiance to his fraternity, because it seems to be an equal trade for the allegiance to his girlfriend.