Editor’s note: The following article is based off of true events, but the quotes are fake. The name of the sorority mentioned has been changed. This citizen journalism article was written for a DCC project.
College Park, MD – On a seemingly typical Saturday night, in the midst of frat parties and Route 1 nightlife, the faint sound of “Bohemian Rhapsody” echoes throughout campus and the Frat Row area.
The Knights of Queen Anne’s have arrived in full force.
The Knights, according to sophomore Chris Robeck, is a group of members and friends of the Digital Cultures and Creativity living and learning program at the University of Maryland. Once a month, they meet up and embark on a quest.
Tonight’s quest: sorority caroling.
“We were wandering the streets when a freshman came up with the genius idea of sorority caroling,” Robeck said. “Basically, we look for people sitting outside at parties and sort of flash mob them and sing whatever song comes to mind.”
On this evening’s quest, the group sang everything from Christmas carols to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
A Sigma Nu junior was sitting on the porch when the Knights arrived. “My friend and I were getting ready to leave when this massive group of people showed up and started singing ‘Jingle Bells,” she said. “About halfway through the third song, they burst into ‘Never Gonna Give You up.’”
According to Roebeck, the Knights like to end their performances with a “rickroll,” referring to the Internet meme. “After we sing the first verse and chorus of [Rick Astley’s song] ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,’ we make a run for it,” Robeck said.
Freshman Claire Naylor estimates that there are about 80 active Knights, and a typical quest attracts between 25 and 40 Knights.
“I love being part of this group,” Naylor said. “Everyone includes everyone else, so you always have someone to eat dinner with and someone to talk to. You never feel left out.”
While many of the Knights are DCC students living in Queen Anne’s Hall, “Anyone can be a Knight,” Robeck said. “The only requirement is that you join us on a quest.”
As the Route 1 scene slowly quiets down and the partygoers head home, the sound of merry Knights begins to fade into the night, but not before one last performance: “Wenches and Mead.”
“A few of us used to sing it last year when we’d go out as a group,” Robeck said. “Now, it’s become a celebratory song about a successful quest and great night out with all the Knights.”