Bid Day’s age-old traditions mix without alcohol

By Aimee Zabel

The University sororities and fraternities gathered on the patio of the Bart Luedeke Center on Oct. 6 to mark one of the most important “holidays” in Greek life: Bid Day.

A very special event in Greek life, Bid Day is a day of celebration for all the new members entering the community. Chants were screamed aloud and flags from each of Greek house were waved, as new members were welcomed into their potential organization one by one.

Bid Day is a long-standing tradition, but this year was a little different. While the values of Greek life may have not changed, Bid Day has certainly adopted new practices. Greek life organizers tried to remove the focus on alcohol associated with the biannual event. The day was filled with University sponsored non-alcohol related events, including a barbecue and a dance, to go along with age-old Greek favorites like the balcony introduction.

The balcony tradition is the most important ritual of the day. It is a gathering of the new members, each Greek organization, chapter presidents, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council. At this assembly, the values of what it means to be a part of Greek Life were discussed.

Following the balcony ceremony, Greeks were invited to attend a barbecue held at Gill Chapel from 1 to 3 p.m. That evening, the Office of Greek Life arranged a dance for all the new members and Greek organizations at 9:30 p.m. There was a pie eating contest, a game show and a stage set up to introduce each new member to a song of his or her choice.

“Bid Day is a lot of fun because you see how much pride fraternities and sororities have in their chapter,” said senior Laura Green, a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma.

As a result of the Presidential Task Force and the new alcohol policy, social events can no longer be held in fraternity or sorority houses, so it was especially important that Bid Day, particularly the events that follow the balcony ceremony, was a huge success. Katie Guerrierie, house director and program coordinator in the Office of Greek Life, was very happy with the outcome of Bid Day.

“We wanted to give them [the Greeks] an alternative to having an event in the house and try to keep people on campus,” said Guerrierie. “We wanted to take the attention away from alcohol and put it more on the fact that this is a day to celebrate the new
members.”

Surveys were distributed to all members of the Greek organizations to find how big of a success Bid Day was. Michael Stumpf, House Director in the Office of Greek Life, said so far the surveys have been conveying “overwhelmingly positive” results.

Preparation for Bid Day is an extensive process. For the Greek organizations themselves, there are weeks of recruitment events, like mocktails, community service events and barbeques. This year, several students came forward with suggestions to improve Bid Day for future years. Stumpf really hopes to hand the reigns of the planning process to the students themselves.

“Next semester, we’re going to hopefully get the students more involved in actually planning the day’s events,” he stated.

While the Greek community has been under a great deal of scrutiny lately, administration was pleased how the focus was returned to celebrating new
members.

Dean of Students Anthony Campbell was very pleased with the day’s outcome. He credited the fraternities and sororities for trying to change the dynamic of Bid Day.

“I’m very happy with the progress the Greek community has made,” said Campbell.

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