Stanford's 'Kissing Orgy' Tradition Is A Fun, Sexy Way to Get Mono

Every year, freshman at Stanford University, their high school nerdstink still clinging to their strategically selected college reinvention outfits, gather on a quad to be ushered into the prestigious school's community by polite, consent-seeking upperclassmen. You'd think the tradition — known colloquially as the "kissing orgy" — might be the best place in Palo Alto to get a disease that will ruin literally your entire semester, or that it's a sneaky way for an in-a-bind admissions office to deal with a higher than expected offer acceptance rate.

The official name of the LIBERAL ELITE ORGY is "Full Moon on the Quad," according to the New York Times Donald G. McNeil, Jr, and it traditionally takes place during the first full moon of the academic year. But because of a conflict with homecoming week, this year's makeout party had to wait until late October. OH (mon)NOOOOOO!

McNeil notes that it's impossible for university officials to make the gathering illegal; if people don't kiss on the quad, they'll start having unsafe back alley kisses and LORD KNOWS WHAT they might catch. No, instead of trying to shut down the kissing orgy, the University teaches "safe kissing."

They meet with freshmen before, and ask any with cold symptoms to feel free to watch, but not to kiss anyone. [...]

“We tell them, ‘Don’t floss beforehand, don’t brush, don’t do anything that could create microabrasions in your gums for germs to get in,” said Michelle Lee Mederos, a former educator who graduated in 2011. “And we have tables where we offer mints and little Dixie cups of mouthwash.”

Mouthwash is the main line of defense. This year there were two tables dotted with paper cups, along with condoms and other sexual health supplies.

Today I learned: flossing and brushing before making out can make it easier to catch colds from people. Holy crap! Why haven't I died of an old-timey upper respiratory disease?

The school also emphasizes consent so the poor baby freshmen, barely out of high school, don't feel pressured to suck face with upperclassmen whose mouths taste like a coffee filled ashtray. And the event is SERIOUS BUSINESS with security and everything.

Now the Quad is barricaded. Campus police check student IDs. Paramedics stand by. A concert is held so nonkissers have something to do.

It has been canceled only once: in 2009, the “pandemic swine flu” year.

After East Coast schools, which open earlier, reported outbreaks, “we decided we couldn’t live with the risk,” Dr. Friedman said. “So we made a very unpopular decision.”

Students also make "kissing bingo" cards that contains squares that describe traits — like a person with red hair. Or a super tall person. Or a homeless guy who sneaked into the event. (joke item!) And thanks to precautions, security, and hygiene, the infection rate for people who attend the kissing orgy is less than the infection rate for the country at large.

Such fanfare! Back when I was in college and us gals (freshman gals) wanted to make out with strangers, we just went to a place in South Bend called The Boat Club.

[NYTimes]