To those within a mile of Mercer's campus who heard a concerning amount of male screams Friday afternoon: fear not. Boy's bid day has arrived.
If Panhellenic women's bid day is glitter and glam, with costumes and opportunities for pristine Instagram photos, Interfraternity Council men's bid day stands in stark contrast with bodily collisions bordering on violence, dinner jackets with khaki pants (or shorts) and a promise of partying.
Each group of new fraternity members made the trek from Connell Student Center to Greek Village in about 10-minute increments, breaking into a sprint once their new brothers were in view.
Seven of Mercer's eight IFC fraternities welcomed new members on bid day: Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Kappa Sigma is currently suspended and unable to take a pledge class.
Avery Goss '23, a member of Sigma Nu, says he looks forward to bid day as an opportunity to unwind.
"Bid day is kind of the day of relief where all the stresses are gone," he said. "Being so stressed with planning events, getting stuff together, it's just a nice day to finally relax."
Each fraternity extended several bids, primarily to first-year students, after their recruitment period this semester, which began Sept. 8 and ended Sept. 16.
One of those new fraternity men, Justin Diamond '26, is "super stoked" to join the ranks of Phi Delta Theta. He said he has "never experienced something like this" in his life.
"What just happened? Craziness just happened," he said. "I ran as fast as I could. Someone owes me $2 because I beat him (running up the hill). I got hit in the face pretty hard by someone, but it keeps a smile on my face. I don't mind at all. Met all the frat guys, my new family for the next four years. It's gonna be a great time."
However, bid day is not just an event for fraternity men — scores of women in dresses and other curious onlookers watched as the new fraternity brothers ran to their houses in Greek Village.
"It's a Mercer national holiday! Simple as that," a member of Chi Omega, Anna Peters '23, said. "Everyone gets together for boy's bid day."
Even Mercer's very own Dean of Students Doug Pearson quietly spectated the festivities from the University Center patio overlooking Cruz Plaza.
"I think it's one of the most exciting times during the fall," he said. "I come every once in a while just because I like the energy on campus."
Mary Helene Hall ‘23 is a journalism and women’s and gender studies student who has worked for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. She has held internships at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AL.com, where she covered a variety of topics including politics, crime and culture.