Every residence hall at Notre Dame passes on its culture and spirit by nurturing traditions that make it unique. Like any family, Carroll has many traditions, some large and some small. From the signature events like A Carroll Christmas to the everyday experiences of eating together at a “Carroll table” in South Dining Hall, these are the rituals of bonding and brotherhood that connect Vermin to one another.

Shared experience builds familiarity,
familiarity opens us up to intimacy,
intimacy can lead to deep friendship.

Signature Events


A Carroll Christmas 2015

Having replaced the “Carroll Haunted House” in 1989, A Carroll Christmas is a staple of the holiday season at Notre Dame.  The title is a play on the title of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Held on the first Friday of December, A Carroll Christmas was named the Best Men’s Signature Event for the 2014-2015 academic year.

It is everything you could ever want in a Christmas Festival. Events include blessing and lighting the giant (40 foot) Christmas tree, performances from an a cappella group and a comedy troupe. Other attractions have included a horse drawn carriage up and down Carroll Drive, paper luminaries lining the walkway, a basement dance party, and a giant “C” made out of Christmas lights that hangs adorns the building.

Lucky Vermin dress up as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s elves, and take pictures with guests. A Carroll Christmas attracts as many as 800-1000 students, so start shopping for the perfect ugly sweater, and keep an eye on the Carroll Christmas Countdown!


One of the newer events on campus, the first LAKESIDE Music Festival was held  in April 2015. From the beginning this even has been a completely joint effort between the Vermin of Carroll and the Bullfrogs of Badin Hall!

LAKESIDE highlights one of the things that Carroll uniquely possesses: Far Quad, our own lawn with an unparalleled view of Saint Mary’s Lake and the Golden Dome.

Photo by “Lion” Dani Meersman.

A fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Saint Joseph County, wristband admission gives students full access to music, food served from the grills, and volleyball and spikeball and other games all afternoon.  The best bands, music groups, and DJs on campus perform cover songs and original music.  Vermin with extraordinary spoken word and rap talent spit knowledge under the view of Our Lady. A special rendition of Third Floor Abs keeps everyone trim and strong.

Even a touring professional band added an extra tour stop to come play at Lakeside! Let loose and dance along to the music, or simply throw down a blanket, relax, and enjoy the afternoon. Kick off the beginning of AnTostal and the beginning of spring at LAKESIDE!

2016 LAKESIDE Poster
Other Traditions

Vermin Go Gold*

Golden domed firstyear Vermin prepare for the home game. It was all downhill from there with a dismal season. Photo by Vermin Joseph Han.

Vermin Go Gold is the most well-known and widely recognized of all dorm traditions. Each year, before the first football game of the season,  many New Vermin dye their hair gold in support of the football team. These “Golden Domes” are easily spotted both in the football stadium and from across the quad. It’s a great conversation starter, and easily answers the age-old question “What dorm are you from?” Check out Vermin Go Gold here.

You too, will receive the ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to dye your hair blonde.

  • Will you instantaneously be granted rippling muscles like Fabio to make all the ladies swoon? No.
  • Will you become indistinguishable from the real Fabio afterwards? It’s possible.
  • Will you receive flowing locks, akin to that of molten gold, upon completion of this ceremony? You bet your sweet bippies. (Unless your hair is really dark, then it might look more maroon.)

*(Side effects include but are not limited to: Premature balding, OCD about your hair being perfectly combed, incessant narcissism, nausea, pregnancy, and identifying as Fabio.)

Even before the magic formula takes full effect Vermin Kevin Greif begins to bear a striking resemblance to Fabio. Photo by Vermin Harry Aquino.

GO IRISH! Banner

Raising the banner in September of 2014.

Consisting of 72 bed sheets, 50,000 staples, and 5 gallons of green paint, Carroll’s signature “GO IRISH!” banner hangs from the front of the dorm on every home football weekend. The banner is frequently featured on NBC during games. Every Friday afternoon before a home football game, you can find the men of Carroll raising the huge banner that has become a staple of Notre Dame Football tradition.

It is important to note that Carroll was first to raise a banner at Notre Dame and continued an unbroken tradition of building our own, unlike our well-meaning, but misguided brother dorm, Zahm House.

Carroll Cookouts and Volleyball

The grill is where it’s at! Photo by “Lion” Dani Meersman.

In its third year, Carroll Cookouts provide a great way to begin the weekend on Friday afternoons. Its simple. Hamburgers, hot dogs, volleyball, cornhole, frisbe, spike ball, and maybe even a game of catch.  Especially popular during the fall when the weather is perfect, Carroll Cookouts also bring many guests to FarQuad. Our sisters in Lyons know they always have a standing invitation. but we also invite many other communities so they can see what all the hoopla is about the picture perfect location of the Lakeside Estate.

A golden domed Vermin during a Carroll Cookout demonstrates how it’s done on the court!

It’s hard to beat a game of volleyball with picturesque views of St. Mary’s Lake, the Golden Dome, and the Basilica. So, it only makes sense that Carroll Hall plays a lot of volleyball. In fact, we play volleyball so frequently that we’ve developed our own set of rules, dubbed the Carroll Rules: 1. Unlike normal volleyball, you can touch and reach over the net – with some restrictions. 2. There are no other rule changes. Some of the greatest moments in Carroll are made during long volleyball sessions, and it is one of the most common and fun ways for the men of Carroll to bond and relax. Expect Friday afternoons filled with bumps, sets, spikes, digs, dives, and a whole lot of fun on the court.


The Babes of BP host the Vermin for a round of Third Floor Abs. Photo by RA Chris Chin.

Becoming a campus-wide phenomenon, Third Floor Abs started as a way for the men of Carroll Hall to build muscle and create washboards. In 2015-16 the legendary Coach (RA) Carter Boyd revitalized the program with some more challenging workouts, and also added in a weekly visit to another dorm, so that the Vermin could bring abs to the less fortunate(ly endowed with abs). Despite the name, Carroll residents from any floor are most welcome at the workouts usually on both Monday and Wednesday nights.

In 2016-17 Coach (RA) Chris Chin took Third Floor Abs on a worldwide to tour to every women’s residence hall on campus and one men’s hall.  This very well may be the premiere health and wellness program on campus!

In 2017-18 Coach (RA) Chris Hull will continue the tradition.

SERVICE: The Boys & Girls Club

Since 2015, Carroll Hall’s signature charity, LAKESIDE, has been the Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph’s County (BGC). Throughout the year, a number of Carroll residents volunteer an hour or two per week at the BGC, helping kids with homework during the “power hour” or just hanging out with the kids! There are opportunities to help with STEM programs, art projects, sports, and reading as well. We run our Lakeside signature event in support of the BGC and make a monetary donation based on proceeds from that event in April. It’s a great way to engage in the South Bend community and to come together as a dorm to do something good with a specific purpose!

Sister & Brother Dorms

The Arch of Lyons Hall, the end of civilization itself!

Lyons Hall
The Ver-men of Carroll Hall love our sisters from under the arch in Lyons Hall. Lyons is the closest dorm to Carroll, as all of us will either walk underneath it or bike around it on our way to class. Pro tip: befriend girls in Lyons. Not only are they our sisters, but they are our closest lifeline to campus. You never know when you’ll need an excuse to warm up before trekking down Carroll Drive in the winter. Get excited about fun events with Lyons through the year, such
as cookouts, pumpkin carving, and more!

The Zahm House banner. They say imitation is the best form of flattery. We’ll take it.

Zahm House
As of this upcoming year, the notorious Zahm House will be our brother dorm. Located on North Quad, they can often be heard blasting Karaoke or recorder music on fridays. The Zahmbies have the second best men’s community on campus  – second to us of course – and turn their triples into common rooms. With Zahmapalooza and the Zahm Zoos, there is always something going on
to give us a reason to trek on over to North.

Coach Digger Phelps

AP Photo.

As it turns out, legendary Notre Dame Basketball Coach and former ESPN Sportscaster Digger Phelps is a huge fan of Carroll Hall. He stops by Carroll on occasion, and may even show up to Carroll Christmas. Years ago, Digger started an annual winter tradition where he and the men of Carroll Hall decorate a tree on the St. Mary’s Lake running path, right next to Carroll. Digger has dubbed this tree the “Miracle Christmas Tree of Carroll Hall” because it continues to grow and thrive despite its once-feeble state.



The Vermin fight for fun and glory. Photo by Vermin Mom Paula Meersman.

One the unique characteristics of the Notre Dame residential system is interhall sports. For example, Notre Dame is one only two American universities and offer non-division tackle football to students. (The women’s communities are just as competitive with flag football.) The seasons are short, but the enthusiasm is high. Interhall baseball, volleyball, dodge ball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer. Seasoned player or complete novice, get involved in the interhall system and build camaraderie among your hall-mates while getting some much needed exercise. For more information check out the Interhall Sports page at RecSports.



Hall Colors:

Crimson and Gold