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Old 09-18-2002, 03:53 PM
GreekSCU GreekSCU is offline
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My question is this:

What exactly is lavaliering, and how is it done at your schools?

I have heard of it being a huge deal at some schools, with ceremonies, parties, etc.

Unfortunately, it is a tradition that has been lost for some time on my campus and at my chapter, but one that we are planning on bringing back if we can get more information on it.

Explanations? Stories?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-18-2002, 05:24 PM
Opie25 Opie25 is offline
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my campus


On my campus as an undergraduate....laveliering was indeed a very big deal (I think it remains that way on many campuses!)

Regardelss, when a fraternity men laveliers a woman it is seen as a symbol of their "steady" relationship status, i.e. I'm just dating this person. A lavelier is usually a monogram of the man's fraternity letters worn on a chain as a necklace.

On my campus this could be a very public thing (at formals, a social function, or other greek even) or in a private setting betweent the two people.
Generally the male always tried to keep it from his brothers as long as possible, because they would generally give him a hard time, and perform whatever their chapter custom is at that time.

I believe in the women's orgs on my campus they generally held a candlelight. This is a ceremony where the women are only told that someone has an announcement, and the announcement or person isn't revealed as a way to build suspense.

The women might stand around in a circle and pass a lit candle from one member to the next to build suspense, until the woman who was laveliered (or has a special announcement), blows it out and makes the announcement. I'm sure the custom varies from campus to campus...but that's how it happened on my campus.

Generally a blurb would follow in the campus newspaper under the classifieds in the announcments or greek section. Something like, "Congratulatins to Becky from Alpha Beta Gamma for being laveliered to Joey from Delta Epsilon Zeta."

A similar situation occurs with "pinings" which is when a male gives his fraternity badge to his girlfriend...this was seen as a pre-engagement type event on my campus...where as the laveliering is just the announcement of a serious steady relationship.

On a related note, but kind of off the topic. I know on my undergrad campus the fraternity men didn't wear laveliers around their neck (their own org's letters) but I actually have been to several campuses where they do wear them.....anyone else do that on their campus?

Thanks for listening.
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Old 09-18-2002, 05:36 PM
sororitygirl2 sororitygirl2 is offline
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I have NEVER seen men wear their own lavalieres... how funny! They would probably have gotten laughed off my campus! But, whatever floats your boat, I suppose.
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Old 09-18-2002, 05:40 PM
justhey76 justhey76 is offline
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That sounds so cute!!!
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Old 09-18-2002, 06:52 PM
MaryDZ MaryDZ is offline
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I have seen a few guys where their lavalieres on campus not many.

Lavaliering is very serious on our campus. I've only known of one girl to have actually gotten pinned. The guy can only give away his lavalier one time, so it has to be special. I was laviered when I was a sophomore. Then his fraternity did nasty things to him. I've seen some really bad things done to boys tied to the tree infront our house. Therefore, the guy has to be super-serious.

What do you think: Is it alright for a girl to be lavaliered more than once?
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Old 09-18-2002, 08:16 PM
Optimist Prime Optimist Prime is offline
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Yeah I think its okay for a girl to be lavalered more than once only if a guy can give his away more than once. No more double standsards. Also, to answer question, yeah its a big deal. You just give it to her, like you would a class ring only planned like asking to marry. Then your brothers will poor beer over your head.
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Old 09-18-2002, 09:32 PM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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In the good ole days

When I was a lowly pledge, the members said pledges could be "pinned" to their chosen one, IF the pledge gave his pledge pin to a girl under a street lamp, with two members present, and pinned it inside her bra.

In my four undergrad years in heaven, no pledge ever did this.

Is still going on?
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Old 09-18-2002, 09:54 PM
SLOTheta SLOTheta is offline
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I was lavaliered my last quarter in college by my Sig Ep Boyfriend. His chapter didn't do lavaliering, he went to U of W, but he wanted to do something special for me. Lavaliering at Cal Poly is a BIG Deal and is every sorority's girls dream!

After he gave me the lavalier, I had a candle pass with my sorority, the candle went around while we sang our special songs associated with a lavalier.

It was a very special moment for my house and me. Some fraternities don't have specific policies about lavaliering, but 99% of the houses have strict rules, and guys don't just pass out lavaliers! It was a really big fraternity, I heard a guy has lavaliered 4 girls! Crazy! Most only do it once in their college career...

I graduated, and still have my candle and lavalier that I look at every so often.
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:12 PM
SuperSister SuperSister is offline
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My boyfriend's fraternity does lavalier. I don't know whether this procedure is chapter policy or national policy though . . . The guy has to be an active member for a year before he can lavalier (so you can't get in and the next day lavalier), he can only lavalier once . . . ever, he asks his brothers before he does it, general rule of thumb is that since this is seen basically as an engagement by the chapter the couple should have been together about two years (depending on the relationship). They usually also give the lavalier on a special occasion for the fraternity where all the brothers are gathered together, like the founder's day dinner.

As an amusing side note although I haven't been lavaliered . . . yet I can still wear the letters . . . my brother is a member of the same fraternity and with the chapter's permission I may wear them as a blood relative. I wouldn't feel right about it though, I'd rather wait and get them from my boyfriend.

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Old 09-18-2002, 10:33 PM
AchtungBaby80 AchtungBaby80 is offline
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Yes, lavaliering is a big deal--I'd like to be lavaliered or pearled at some point, as would most people in my chapter! You get a candle pass, too, which is icing on the cake. Or better yet, forget the lavalier...a rock would be better.

--Edited to add that I think it's no fair that guys are the only ones who get to lavaliere...why do THEY get to have all the fun? Where's the womens' lib people when we need them?

Last edited by AchtungBaby80; 09-18-2002 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:57 PM
aephi alum aephi alum is offline
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Lavaliering is a big deal - at my school it was like being "engaged to be engaged". Pinning is extremely rare.

My husband, an independent, "lavaliered" me with a little heart pendant. My sorority held a candle pass just the same as if I'd been lavaliered by a fraternity member.

I've never heard of a restriction that a girl can only be lavaliered once or that a guy can only lavalier a girl once. If the relationship ends, I don't see any reason why the girl can't accept a lavalier from a new boyfriend or the guy can't lavalier a new girlfriend. Still, a couple should consider lavaliering/pinning very carefully, as it is sort of a pre-engagement.
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:26 PM
gphiangel624 gphiangel624 is offline
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I've heard that every fraternity that has an actual "set" ceremony to lavalier or pin a girlfriend can only do it once and he must be an initiated member. Four of my sisters have been lavaliered or pinned in the past few years (four chapters, too: Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Order, Alpha Tau Omega, and Delta Sigma Phi from UCLA)... which is awesome- I would love to be lavaliered by my wonderful Delt boyfriend... but I've only got a year left of being an undergrad (and I don't feel it would be right to lavalier an alum- am I wrong on that?), and he's not the kind of guy who would do something romantic like that... But oh well- I love him just the same!
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Old 09-19-2002, 12:07 AM
KayDee422 KayDee422 is offline
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Several of the girls in my chapter were lavaliered around the same time.. And all of them (to my knowledge) married their guy after graduation.. We all treated it like a big deal.

Any opinions on lavaliering as an alumnae? I was lavliered by my long-term DTD boyfriend a couple years after we were both out of school.. So I missed out on the ceremonies and the candle passes, but it was still a really big deal to me. And he has been a very, very active alum/advisor for his chapter, so all the guys treated it like a big deal, too.
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:53 AM
GreekSCU GreekSCU is offline
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Let me get this right...

Lavaliering is akin to giving your girl a "promise ring"... its like you are not quite engaged, but pretty close. Is that about right?

Also, what is the lavaliering ceremony like? We have a brother who is planning on proposing to his girlfriend at our formal this year. The way I understand it, it would be appropriate to have a lavaliering ceremony for him either just before he proposes or just after.

Since this is an attempt at reviving a long-lost tradition at my school, any details or particulars are helpful.

Thanks again,

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Old 09-19-2002, 05:12 AM
SnowLady SnowLady is offline
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My campus traditions were much like yours. Although, hard to believe, as sorority sisters we got to be as bad as the guys with the junk thrown on them. Traditionally after a candlelight, we'd through the girl in the lake on campus. (I guess if you're starting a tradition, I wouldn't start this. It's totally a hazing issue now!)

But I would agree:

Lavalier - would be serious girlfriend (and at my campus the lavaliered could not wear the fraternity letters yet)

Pinning or Pearling - would be pre-engagement (Gets to wear lavalier if bypassed and wear fraternity letters.)

Engagement - well duh!

And the chapter I now advise has a fourth time around for an alum to come back and announce a legacy.

At some campuses, fraternities do not give away their badges and instead buy a pearl ring or pendant for their significant other.

I would say if you guy is going to ask his gf to marry him at formal, he'd probably want to start out with pinning ceremony first.

It's great that you want to get this tradition back. Do you have a network of alumni advisers or alumni housing board members that you could ask them what specifically was done back "in their day?" I think they'd be honored that you knew they had a life back then!

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