The Swap Box

What It Is, Why You Need It, Where to Store It


A swap, sometimes called a mixer, is when a sorority and a fraternity have a party to give their members and pledges an opportunity to socialize and get to know one another. Swaps frequently happen in the fall and usually have a theme requiring a crazy outfit. Be prepared lest you in desperation use your newly monogrammed Dorm Decor sheets for the toga party. (BTW – at Dorm Decor the monogram on sheets is always free!)

A little research into popular party themes at your university will save you time and money. Even if you don’t plan to go Greek every university has themed dress up events and with everyone raiding the local Wal-Mart for the same stuff chances are you won’t even be able to buy a costume. So call a friend, do a Google search, check out social media sites and find out what you will most likely need at your particular university.


Here’s the contents of a swap box taken from The University of Mississippi:

- tie dye t-shirt

- flower crown (good for hippie parties and toga parties)

- peace stickers and flower power tattoos

- toga

- cut up sweat shirt a la Flashdance

- leg warmers (you can make these by cutting the arms off old sweaters)

- cut-off blue jean shorts

-Talladega Raceway t-shirt

- bandana

- flapper dress a la Gatsby

- feather boa

- pirate costume for Halloween

- plain white V-neck t-shirts for paint parties

(Why V-neck, because they flatter everyone.)

-bright pink knee socks (for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk)

-tacky Christmas sweater

-reindeer antler headband

-ribbons in various colors


Once you’ve done your research and filled your box with items you’ll definitely need, if there’s space left, throw in extra stuff that you already have, i.e. Mardi Gras beads, your mom’s old hair crimping iron, the pink afro wig from that revival of HAIR you were in in high school, whatever! Most importantly, nothing irreplaceable or sentimental should go in a swap box. Don’t wear your Junior Miss crown and expect for it to come through a frat party unscathed.


With space at a minimum in dorm rooms where do you store this treasure trove of party fun? You don’t need it all the time, but you do need it, so store it where you can see it and get to it with just a little effort. With a little planning you’ll be SWAP ready at moments notice.