SU greeks host dry parties Saturday night
A brother of Delta Tau Delta walked across the room.
‘Hey,’ he said. ‘Can you hit me up with some of that?’
A purple box flies across the room.
‘Trade me up for pink,’ he said.
Nerds candies, a staple of childhood birthday parties, were available at a themed party hosted by Alpha Xi Delta this past weekend.
Saturday night, the last night of Alcohol Awareness Week, all Syracuse University fraternities and sororities participated in an evening of alcohol-free, themed parties, or ‘Mocktails,’ from 9 p.m. to midnight.
AZD, a sorority on campus, was paired up to have a mocktail with both Delta Tau Delta and Phi Kappa Theta, two SU fraternities, said Allyson Schmutter, an AZD sister and member of the Junior Panhellenic Council.
House members were responsible for planning themed, non-alcoholic events and making sure everyone stayed sober, Schmutter said. AZD’s theme was a kid’s birthday party filled with candy, cake, root beer floats, Shirley Temples and Twister.
An incentive for the event was that it allowed freshmen access to fraternity houses when they may not be able to get in otherwise, Schmutter said.
‘Tonight could have been used for recruitment,’ she said.
Most houses within the Inter-fraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council signed a contract committing to stay sober on Saturday, more specifically at the Mocktail parties, Schmutter said.
‘People love their houses and they want the greek community to look good,’ Schmutter said. ‘That’s why they show up to these things.’
The IFC and the Panhellenic Council walked between houses all night grading the party’s themes and how they connected to the drinks and activities, she said.
‘Greek life, in particular, is often connected to the idea of parties and alcohol, but in truth, that is not what our organizations are about,’ said Becky Daniels, Panhellenic Council Executive Board president.
Phil Marchese and Katrina Lent, the Greek Advocating the Mature Management of Adults chairs of both the IFC and Panhellenic Council, were primarily responsible for planning the event, Daniels said.
‘Nothing like this has been done in recent history, but it is a program that will hopefully become a tradition on the SU campus,’ said Daniels.
Marchese said the program was in its first year so it was difficult to plan, but next year, he hopes people will be expecting it.
The Mocktail was aimed at helping fraternities and sororities focus more on the themes of parties than the alcohol, and making new friends, Marchese said.
Next year the plan is to open up the program and create full campus parties, he said.
The social chair and risk management for each house went to planning meetings to help organize the event, said Dan Kadish, Phi Kappa Theta’s social chair.
‘They should’ve put it all in one area,’ said Kadish, who thought it was frustrating that sororities were split up, with a lot of small parties all across campus.
Phi Kappa Theta decorated its house with birthday decorations and kids’ party favors. Brothers of the fraternity dressed in slumber party costume with one as the party’s clown. In the kitchen a table was littered with soda, grenadine and cherries for Shirley Temples and ice cream and root beer for floats.
‘This is a lot more difficult sober,’ said someone trying to scoop ice cream into a plastic cup.
Kadish, dressed in a bathrobe, made it clear that everyone was having fun.
‘Whenever you have a kazoo and a clown with a squirting flower, it’s always a good time,’ he said.
Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosted a New Year’s Eve-themed event, and Phi Beta Pi and Delta Chi held a rave complete with black lights and glow-in-the-dark wristbands, said Daniels. There was also a luau and Mexican fiesta, she said.
Other events celebrating Alcohol Awareness Week included an alcohol trivia contest, a beer-goggle relay and the Save a Life Tour, an interactive program that included a realistic driving game which simulates the experience of driving under the influence, said Daniels.
These events took place throughout last week to educate and increase awareness about the importance of consuming alcohol responsibly, Daniels said.
‘I think it’s nice that fraternities and sororities are able to get together sober and have a good time,’ said Amanda Gaynor, a sister in AZD. ‘It’s a nice change for the greek system.’
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