1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Commers

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COMMERS (from Lat. commercium), the German term for the German students’ social gatherings held annually on occasions such as the breaking-up of term and the anniversary of the university’s founding. A Commers consists of speeches and songs and the drinking of unlimited quantities of beer. The arrangements are governed by officials (Chargierte) elected by the students from among themselves. Strict rules as to drinking exist, and the chairman after each speech calls for what is called a salamander (ad exercitium Salamandris bibite, tergite). All rise and having emptied their glasses hammer three times on the table with them. On the death of a student, his memory is honoured with a salamander, the glasses being broken to atoms at the close.