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.
A CARROLL CHRISTMAS
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 and a horse-drawn carriage burning rubber up and down Carroll Drive. Walking through the first floor, you’ll see a lounge transformed into a winter wonderland, and outside a giant “C” made out of Christmas lights that hangs on the front of 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!
LAKESIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL
One of the newer events on campus, the first LAKESIDE Music Festival was held in April 2015.
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.
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!
Vermin Go Gold
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.
GO IRISH! Banner
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, fellow men’s hall, Zahm House.
Carroll Cookouts and Volleyball
Held on Friday afternoons, Carroll Cookouts serve as a fantastic start to the weekend. We keep it simple: Hamburgers, hot dogs, volleyball, cornhole, frisbee, spike ball, and great friends. Especially popular during the fall when the weather is perfect, Carroll Cookouts bring many guests to FarQuad. Our sisters in Lyons know they always have a standing invitation. However, we also invite other communities so they might enjoy the picturesque Lakeside Estate.
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.
THIRD FLOOR ABS
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 premier health and wellness program on campus!
Recently, 2019-2020 Coach (RA) Christian Cyrul reached new heights with Third Floor Abs, taking the iconic tradition to Saint Mary’s College (the Vermin were well received, of course).
Despite Covid-19, 2020-2021 Coach (RA) Noah Mattapallil continued the tradition with new variants of core shredding workouts.
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 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!
As of this upcoming year, Fisher Hall will be Carroll’s brother dorm. Located on South Quad between South Dining Hall and Pangborn, the Fishermen are always planning great events. Fisher Hall is most famous for their spring event, the Fisher Regatta, which typically boasts very high attendance and rallies the campus for upcoming exams. We hope to plan a variety of fun events with Fisher this year.
Coach Digger Phelps
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.
One of the unique characteristics of the Notre Dame residential system is interhall sports. For example, Notre Dame is one of 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 sports include baseball, volleyball, dodge ball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer and many more. 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.
CARROLL HALL TABLE
Over in South Dining Hall by the dish return lies the unofficial Carroll Hall table. While not required by any means, you can almost always find one of your fellow Vermin eating when you walk into the dining hall, and is a place where many friendships are made over a lunchtime conversation full of laughs and fun.