1. Thou shalt not wear lodge shoes anywhere but the lodge.
Not only would it be completely unacceptable to do so, but it would also make you look like the Bird Lady from "Home Alone 2." You are dreaming if you think a good pair of shoes would still look trendy after dunking them in lodge sludge.
Lodge shoes should be chosen based off of three factors: comfort, price and durability. Not only do the shoes have to feel great if you're planning on having an impressive night of dancing, but you also have to ask yourself whether you can trek across campus in them. Price is self-explanatory and mainly goes out to the women. Ladies, don't wear designer shoes to the lodge--it's a waste of Benjamins and you can't revive them. The number of semesters your pair can last also needs to be taken into consideration. You are #winning if your lodge shoes last an entire school year.
2. Thou shalt not be a buzz kill at the lodge.
If you are questioning the amount of fun you will have at a lodge before you even start getting dressed, nine out of 10 times, you should probably just take your claim to lame and stay home. When your heart and soul isn't fully committed to awkward dancing and socialization, you are likely to kill the mood of a perfectly enjoyable night for the rest of us.
3. Thou shalt not forget to dress to theme.
It is impossible to have a perfect lodge experience unless you are dressed like somebody who needs intense psychiatric care. Besides, why would you not want to pretend every weekend is Halloween?! Now, there are those who weren't born with the Fun Chromosome and end up wearing something normal so they'll look more "attractive". News flash to those people: nothing about a lodge is normal, so don't dress like it is. When in doubt, wear spandex.
4. Thou shalt not cry at the lodge.
Don't even think about it, because it's not an option. It should also be addressed that the male population is just as guilty as that of the female (OK, well maybe not equally as guilty, but close). Nobody likes to watch the phases of a drunken emotional breakdown in the middle of a party. You need to realize that the number of things that could happen at a lodge that make crying in front of 300 people justifiable are slim to none; therefore, just don't do it. If you're a repeat offender, fraternities should probably consider putting you on some sort of strike system so that you don't keep embarrassing yourself on a weekly basis. Take your beer tears back to the privacy of your home.
5. Thou shalt not face-plant off the lodge stage.
It's plan and simple, guys. We think we're invincible and that with a crowded room full of friends, someone will be there to catch us when we fall. False. Everyone is way too preoccupied doing whatever it is they do at a lodge to worry about whether or not you break a five-foot tumble with your face. When you make the decision to do an on-stage performance, you are also assuming the possibility of dealing with a very large medical bill for reconstructive surgery--or a long visit to your dentist for a brand new set of pearly whites.
6. Thou shalt not pull a Janet Jackson at the lodge.
Please just keep all of your clothes on and make sure what you're wearing can handle any just about anything--except fire, because that's slightly unavoidable. Ladies, if you're going to wear a tube top or a barely-there dress, make sure you'll be ready and in the right mindset to quickly make necessary adjustments. Nobody wants to stare at your junk on the dance floor, it's too crowded and that is too close for comfort. You'll follow these words of wisdom if you don't want the entire school talking about you for the next week.
7. Thou shalt not immediately upload photos to Facebook.
Please just stop while you're ahead and wait at least 12 hours--a full day preferably--to upload your lodge pictures to Facebook. There are so many times when people go home, still under the influence, and immediately start publishing their night's photos for all of God's children to see. 1) You're probably doing something illegal in 83 percent of the pictures 2) You're going to be responsible for a slew of requests from people asking you to take pictures down. 3) You will undeniably wake up tomorrow morning and die of embarrassment. If those aren't reason enough to keep you from committing Facebook indecency, you can't be helped.
8. Thou shalt not make phone calls during a lodge.
Yes, it would be better not to even bring your phone to the lodge; however, we all know that that is a far stretch of the imagination. Try to make sure it's locked when not in use, as you are likely to accidentally dial those on your call log--aka your parents, younger siblings, a local business or maybe even the Richmond YoungLife office (not that that has ever happened to me...) In some cases, you might end up actually talking to some of these people and commit diarrhea of the mouth.
9. Thou shalt not be a pack mule.
In essence, don't haul all of your belongings and personal documents with you to a fraternity lodge. You don't need your wallet, your phone, your apartment or car keys, your camera or second form of identification to get into the lodge and have a good time. You will undoubtedly lose five of these six items.
10. Thou shalt not be responsible for shutting down a lodge.
Above all the commandments, this might be the most important to obey. If you feel you have caused, are causing or will cause a scene, go home immediately. What constitutes a scene is common sense. Don't be the one reason that Richmond police have to send 200 students home at midnight on a Friday. Basically, that just won't go over well with the student population, and you'll probably be dealing with those social consequences for a while. In a worse case scenario, the fraternities would have to enforce an elite list policy. Oh wait...
Contact staff writer Markie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.