Mandatory Fun

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Mandatory Fun (also known as Fundatory) is the way that TIP ensures that nerds will socialize through 1 and 1/2 hour activities Monday-Thursday and 2 hour activities on Sunday. They involve a wide range of entertainment. Usually there are three to five options as well as one limited activity; each activity is chaperoned by different RCs or, if they're brave enough, a TA. One night a week, Mandatory Fun takes place in the form of RAG night, where you choose an activity with your RC group, such as going to Main Street or Ninth Street, going to Laser tag, bowling, ordering pizza and a movie... et cetra.

How Do I Sign Up?

You sign up for them ahead of time and go there right after evening session. At Davidson you sign up on your RC's door the night before. At Duke East, you sign up for unlimited activities with your RC and limited ones in Bassett. (Edit: At Duke East Term 1 2010, there were lotteries held for limited activities on the Marketplace steps. Each person would receive a number (if they got to the lottery fast enough), usually between 1 and 8. An RC would draw a number from his/her plastic bag, and the TiPsters holding this number would be allowed to enter the Marketplace and sign up for one limited activity. Even if you're called to sign up for an activity fourth, odds are that you won't get it (if it's a very popular activity). Activities that were very popular included Laser Tag and going to the movies to watch Toy Story 3. If you didn't make it to the lottery, you could still sign up in Brown. Activities that were limited and almost no one went to included a trip to Duke Gardens and making Packing Tape Purses.) Edit: Duke East Term II 2011 was similar to Term I 2010. The most popular activity ever was going to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part two. For Duke West and ASU, you sign a sheet near your RC's door, during the meeting, or if early enough, the morning of the activity's day. At UGA, signup occurs during RC group meetings the night before the activity. Activities at UGA last 2 hours and are held Monday through Thursday (campus-wide activities are held the other days of the week). At KU, you get a half sheet of paper with a chart that has the days of the week (Monday-Thursday) and next to the day has the activities optional for that day. You fill it out during your RC group meeting on Sunday. You put them in order of what you want (1 being highest, 6 being the lowest), and Monday morning, you check what you got on you RC's door, where it's posted. For the Marine Lab, the three activities are placed on each of the three picnic tables outside of the dining hall during breakfast. All tipsters rush to get to that one good activity because the other two always suck.

But Why?

As one Dr. Steve Benko described it to his PILF class, "TIP staff thinks that although you TIPsters are advanced intellectually, you are far behind socially." This is the reasoning behind mandatory fun time. Mandatory Fun's original implementation may have had a connection to the prevention of TIP Babies.

The Origins of Mandatory Fun

Mandatory fun dates back to the first year of TIP in 1981. TIPsters were told that everyone would be attending a square dance one Friday night. Some TIPsters protested they had no interest in square dancing and asked if they could spend that time engaged in other activities, but their RAs told them no, that it was a required activity. When the TIPsters asked why they were required to go, they were told it would be fun, and that it was important to have fun. The TIPsters began referring to this concept as "Mandatory Fun," and spent most of the square dance discussing the concept and being amused with themselves for having come up with the phrase. This self-congratualtory amusement did, in fact, turn out to be quite fun. Oh, the irony.

Then there was apparently a time when activities were not, in fact, mandatory. While evening activities were still offered, those freedom-inclined, self-sufficient TIPsters we all know and love were allowed to write "D/Q," which stands for "Dorms/Quad," and, as the name indicates, gave the tipster free range for two hours in the dorms or on the quad. Even today, some brave tipsters can get away with writing this if their RC is particularly lazy and/or doesn't notice. The best example of this TIP spirit occurred in 2004, when Peter Sloan, arguably one of the most influential TIP-participants of his and our time, would famously write "D/Q/TRB."

Think about that.

It is still tradition at tip to see if you can get away with "D/Q," although it's unlikely, unless your RC was MIA or had swine flu. Also, it's not a very practical idea unless your friends get away with it too.

Some Examples of Mandatory Fun!


  • Basketball
  • Capture the Flag
  • Cards
  • Chill time
  • Hang out in Union
  • Quidditich
  • Quiet Reading
  • Soccer
  • Spa day (in basement)
  • Summerfest
  • Telephone (note- don't sign up unless you have to or just want to have a lesson. all they do is try to teach you stuff everyone knows about spreading rumors... it's really boring)
  • Telephone Pictionary(entirely different from telephone and kind of the funniest hour and a half of your life if you have a good narrator person)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Various crafts
  • Various movies, including the Italian Job and Ocean's 12
  • Werewolf
  • fashion show night (Term 1 2017 3 of the 4 models one night were boys: Aadi (INDIAN MAN), Cooper, and Sam, only girl was Emily)
  • Meditation
  • Bananagrams
  • Pointless Debates
  • Laundry and (insert random event)
  • 1 Scene Play (was forced to be in a play about gender identity and sexual orientation)
  • Freestyle rapping

Texas A&M

  • Ballroom/Swing Dancing
  • Basketball
  • Campus Tour
  • Coloring & Clay Modeling
  • Derrick's Boot Camp (Only 2013)
  • Duct Tape Wallets & Laundry
  • Football
  • Harry Potter Night
  • Ice Skating (This was a rarity)
  • Improv
  • Mafia
  • Movie & Laundry
  • Open Mic
  • Pointless Debate
  • Quidditch (Another Rarity)
  • Quiet Reading
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Sand Castle Competition
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Step
  • Stress Mangement
  • Trivia
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Yoga!!

Duke West

  • Improv
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Basketball, Volleyball, Football, Soccer...
  • Speed Friendship
  • Intellectual Debate
  • Poker
  • Laundry
  • Movies (sometimes paired with baking cookies, sing-a-long, and more) (included The Princess Bride, Aladdin, James Bond night)
  • Guitar, Art and Poetry
  • Stress Relief (reached a list of 64 attendees)
  • Bridge Building
  • Dancing
  • Chapel Tour
  • Social Dance (Thriller/Salsa)
  • Ben & Jerry's/Ice Cream Social
  • Asian man tells tales of wisdom
  • Quiet Reading (visiting the library, included online)
  • Disney Sing-a-Long (related:O Commons#2009 Term 1)
  • Also from Term II:
  • Quidditch
  • Lip Sync
  • Yoga
  • College Q&A Information Session
  • Asian Man Tells Stories
  • Puppet Theatre
  • Cupcakes & Cards
  • Mixer
  • Photo Tour (of the Chapel and Gardens)
  • HipHop with JD
  • Chapel Climb

Duke East

  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Indie Dance Party
  • Pointless Debate
  • Cupcake Decoration
  • Room Decoration
  • Dr. Who Marathon
  • Chillin' on the Quad
  • Improv, Parts I and II
  • Harry Potter Trivia Night
  • Volleyball
  • The Office/How I Met Your Mother Marathon
  • Locopops
  • 9th Street Trips
  • Dodgeball
  • Kickball
  • TiP Lore
  • Glee Marathon/Sing Along
  • Unsolicited Advice
  • Back to the Future
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read)
  • Volunteering
  • Dance Party, Parts I and II
  • Jam Session

University of Georgia

  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Football
  • Unsolicited advice
  • Improv (Once each week)
  • Jam session
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • Chilling on the Quad
  • Quidditch
  • Nerf war (Term II only)
  • Laundry and Boardgames
  • Photo Tour (a small garden at UGA)
  • Salsa and Salsa
  • Pointless debate
  • Abstract Pictionary
  • Downtown
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Manswers (a variation of Unsolicited advice)
  • Egg Drop
  • Sweet Treats
  • Jousting
  • Mystery Time
  • Soccer
  • Trips to see new movie releases (ex: Inception at Term 2 2010 and Harry Potter at Term 2 2011)

University of Kansas

  • Quidditch
  • Sand Volleyball (fountain afterwards)
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Outdoor Activities
  • What Guys/Girls Want
  • Improv
  • Chill at Potter Lake (fountain afterwards)
  • YouTube Night
  • Soccer
  • Ninja Training
  • Mask Making
  • Writing
  • Karaoke
  • Just Dance
  • Penny Boats

Georgia Tech

  • Soccer
  • '90's appreciation
  • 2000's appreciation
  • Harry Potter Wand Making
  • Letter Writing
  • Chill Time
  • Daniel Time (This is the Scariest)
  • Manswer/Womanswer
  • Mystery Art
  • Spa Night
  • Volleyball
  • Ham's Fantastic Tiptastic Something-Something
  • Swing Dancing
  • Apples to Apples
  • Childhood Games/Capture the Flag (the best activity)
  • Laundry Mystery Time
  • Dan's Mandatory Fun ("Weird Al's" newest album)
  • Bad Movie Monday (with Dan)

Trinity University

(Called Evening Activities instead of Mandatory Fun)

  • AMA with RCs, TAs, and Instructors (ask me anything)
  • Basketball
  • Battle of the sexes
  • Board Games
  • Breakfast for Dinner (Making french toast and watching a movie)
  • Capture the Flag
  • Cheer Workshop
  • Fiesta Night (making and eating homemade guacamole/salsa)
  • Finger Painting
  • Friendship Bracelets
  • Football
  • Improv
  • Karaoke
  • Mafia
  • Making Pizzas and Cupcakes and then eating them
  • Meditation
  • Pin Making
  • Poetry workshop
  • Pointless Debate
  • Riff Off (like in pitch perfect 2)
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Smell Everything (basically just sniffing random things)
  • Silent Reading
  • Soccer
  • Spa Night (face masks and nail painting)
  • Speed Friending (like speed dating)
  • Squirrel Hunting (looking for squirrels around campus)
  • Swimming in Fountains
  • Telephone
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Visiting the Alamo (sunday only)
  • Visiting the Toilet Seat Museum (sunday only)
  • Writing Workshop
  • Yoga (with an actual professional teacher person)
  • Zine Making
  • Zumba

Wake Forest

  • Board Games
  • Capture the Flag
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Fandom Debates
  • Fort Building
  • Friendship Bracelets
  • Frisbee
  • Mindful Coloring
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Speed Friending
  • Zumba

Duke Marine Lab

  • Nuke 'Em
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Zumba
  • Picture This 1 and 2
  • Rotisserie Soccer/TiPWiki
  • Sunset Watercolor
  • Movie and Discussion
  • Soccer
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Kickball
  • Pilates
  • Other Exercises
  • Pokemon Go
  • Debate
  • Friendship Bracelets
  • Henna
  • Program Building for the Community
  • Capture the Flag
  • Disney Kahoot
  • RC Kahoot
  • Improv
  • Rant Session with Ryan/Life Advice
  • Shark Tank
  • Project Runway

Recent Developments

Recently Mandatory Fun has become even more mandatory. Previously, if activities were at their logical end at, say, 9:00, RCs would let us out. However, at West '05, this common sense was not applied, resulting in kids who signed up for football or soccer sitting on a bench for half an hour when it got dark. (This trend also picked up with the Texas A&M RC's by 2009 Term 1.)

In Kansas, Mandatory Fun often takes a tragic turn and results in forced entrance to corn mazes. Ironically, such mazes have been known to provide the dark corners necessary for the creation of TIP Babies.

-Page was edited by Mandy G, Logan R, and BuMu-