#WhySMU: Please explain pins

Campus culture is unique to every school. From Midnight Yells to touching a statue’s toes, every student body is united under the various customs that they all abide by but can never fully explain to anyone on the outside. Southern Methodist University is no exception. We know what we are talking about even if we don't always know why the traditions exists. During my time at SMU, I have developed a list of questions about some of these very specific "you-know-you-go-to-SMU-if" items that I really just do not understand.

At the top of this list is the practice of pin wearing at formals. If you are in a sorority and attending a formal, you give your date a pin with your letters to wear on his jacket lapel. It's cute for pictures and makes it 10000% easier for your instastalkers to identify your affiliation. I don't know of any other school that does this but it is so ingrained at SMU that if you forget a pin for your date, your whole formal crew shoots you some uncomfortable looks and raised eyebrows. You're going to formal tonight? But your date isn't wearing a pin?

 Courtsey of Kyla Wechsler

If you're going to a fraternity formal, I get it. Since there is always a mix of sorority women there, it’s basically an advertisement to any first year of who is attending and it saves you from asking awkwardly if your guy friend's date is Greek or not. It is sort of blunt but there is a logic in play.

Courtsey of Deanna Moon

But if you go to your formal, why do you still have to give him a pin? Every female there is in the same house. Wouldn't it make more sense for him to give you a pin or wear one that has his own letters? Do boys just like getting pins? This leads me to my more general confusion: pin etiquette.

Do you have to let your date keep the pin? When in the night can you let him know you want it back? If you bring your long-term boyf, can you just expect him to bring a pin he already has? So. Many. Questions.

Courtsey of Kate Moody 

During my pursuit of higher education, I've had no luck discovering the origins of this uniquely SMU practice and I really, really would like to get some answers.  If someone could give me clarity on this issue before I graduate, that would be excellent. I do not need another way to procrastinate. Happy formal season!

Feature Image: Courtesy of explosionsportswear.com