While ISU’s fraternities and sororities do sometimes have their “Animal House” moments, they are mostly focused on community service and campus engagement. Whenever there is an event at the fountain, it’s likely a Greek organization or a professional fraternity. From hosting cookouts and dance-offs, to hiring bands to play on campus, these organizations help all Sycamores enjoy their college experience, not just their official members. But that’s not all. From golf fundraisers to losing weight for donations, they do much more than enhance the campus, they enhance the community.
Take Zeta Tau Alpha’s BMOC event, for example. Big Man On Campus, a philanthropy event that raises money for breast cancer education and awareness, is a beauty pageant for males to get on stage and show off their talents.
BMOC was full of excitement as the audience cheered while the contestants showed of their talents at the Indiana Theatre on April 3, 2014. The contestant with the highest score overall is crowned Mr. BMOC for the following year. To make this competition more intense, the person that raises the most money is names Mr. Think Pink. “This year we raised over $8,000 for BMOC and we couldn’t believe it. We all worked so hard for this and it definitely paid off,” said Lindsey Morales, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. Congratulations to the winner of Mr. Think Pink, Patrick Gibbons, and the winner of Mr. BMOC, Michael Kruer.
Most of these events serve dual roles -- raise money for a charity and entertain the masses. Anchor Splash, hosted by Delta Gamma, is a great example of how a good cause can also be good fun. Participants dove for oranges, competed in the funniest swimsuit contest and held a raft relay. There were also numerous types of swimming competitions and even synchronized swimming, all culminating in the Mr. and Ms. Anchor Splash competition. Even a few teams from nearby Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology stopped by. To amp up the competition, Delta Gamma put on penny wars in the commons for a week before the event, which got really intense between a few teams. They battled it out all the way until it was time to close up on the last day, raising $900. Pi Kappa Alpha- Rose won penny wars with a positive $150.
“Watching the penny wars competition was exciting, and it was absolutely crazy the amount of support we had,” Delta Gamma member Cheyenne Dawson said. “Our director of Anchor Splash, Rachael Elixman, worked so hard, and it did not go unnoticed.”
The winners of Mr./ Ms. Anchor Splash were Colt Barker of Lambda Chi Alpha and Emily Barrett of Sigma Kappa. “My favorite part was synchronized swimming; it was so entertaining and people got really creative with their routines,” Delta Gamma member Courtney Rowe said. “It’s amazing to me how an event like this can raise so much awareness and money for people in need.”
The winner of synchronized swimming was Pi Kappa Alpha from Rose-Hulman, who also won the overall event, with ISU’s Lambda Chi Alpha coming in a close second.
Lambda Chi Alpha was all for making headlines this year. From just a handful of students, they started recruiting one by one with hopes that maybe they could re-establish Lambda Chi Alpha on campus. How did they get here? They were handed a set of 15 standards that Nationals said they had to reach before having a shot at chartering. In January 2012, Lambda Chi Alpha became a colony, which was the first step to getting the title. The goal was to have 40 members or the campus average. Starting with 13, this was a challenge but one that they were willing to accept.
After this and others goals were met, the national organization felt it was necessary that the colony should prove how badly they wanted the charter and if they accomplished the standards appropriately.
“The packet did not have to be a certain length or be a certain style, but it had to show why you were ready to be a chapter in Lambda Chi Alpha,” member David Shafer said. “You basically had to sell the colony, and show what they have accomplished, as well as the standards that were met and how you achieved them,” While the new members are unsure as to why their fraternity disappeared in 2002, they were excited to bring the chapter back on March 22, 2014.
Lambda Chi wasn’t the only new group on campus. All it took was a group of seven determined men to start the long journey towards getting Theta Chi back at Indiana State University. The last time Theta Chi existed at ISU was in 2005, where poor recruitment caused the fraternity to fall apart. In fall 2011, Clark Dalton, a legacy, came to Indiana State with a desire to make a difference. After meeting with a local alumnus, Dalton was able to recruit six others determined to bring Theta Chi back to Indiana State. Finally making a name for themselves on campus, they recruited 14 members in the fall 2013, enabling the charter to be re-installed on Nov. 23, 2013.
Life in a fraternity house has many advantages aside from the occasional party scene on the weekends; after all, college is not a $20,000 party. One of the biggest advantages aside from always being around your brothers is the low cost of rent when comparing it to apartments and living on campus.
“It helps strengthen the already strong bond of brotherhood and it is comforting to know that your brothers are only a few feet away if you need anything,” Theta Chi member Josh Jaquez said. “There’s always a few brothers in the house that are there to help you with homework or any other problems, it’s also nice to just have someone to talk to.”