Greeks pump up the Spring Jam

Spring Jam events are open to all students, but many of them come from the greek community.

by Kevin McCahill

In the living room of Alpha Omicron Pi in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, four fraternity members do their best spin, high-step jive to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Marketing sophomore Jill Subera stands in front of the group, never short of suggestions.

“You should spin on six,” she said, counting out a rhythm. “And your arms should be a diagonal line.”

The music starts up, and again the guys, dressed in shorts and T-shirts, try to remember when to kick and lean. They laugh nervously when they miss a step, smile and continue as best as they can.

The group is rehearsing for Ballyhoo, a dance competition which is part of Spring Jam’s final weekend events.

Spring Jam is, according to many people, like homecoming for the spring. Many events are held throughout the week, including ultimate Frisbee and soccer tournaments and dance competitions such as Ballyhoo.

Events are open to all students, but a majority of them come from the greek community. Many say this is a way for them to build a strong community.

The greek community takes a special interest in the events because it’s a way to get involved with the University, said Gina Rozinka, Panhellenic Council president.

For events such as Ballyhoo and band competitions, a lot of work goes into their production.

For the dance competition, fraternity and sorority chapters are grouped together to put on a five-minute dance based on a theme.

Subera’s group chose “Wayne’s World,” which is why the classic Queen song is being used.

There are 10 members in the Ballyhoo group, although not all are in attendance. Groups are broken into pairs based on their chapters.

The “Wayne’s World” group is made up of Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Gamma Delta and Alpha Tau Omega.

Although the group has been rehearsing for nearly two months, scheduling conflicts often mean smaller groups have to rehearse together.

Chemistry sophomore and Delta Tau Delta member Daniel Amos is one of the fraternity members competing with Subera.

Amos said he is more familiar with hip-hop dancing, but was willing to join the group to compete.

“It’s definitely not me,” Amos said. “But it is a lot more fun than I expected.”

Amos said he is confident in the group’s ability to make it past the preliminary competition Thursday night and onto Saturday’s finals.

The group finalized the routine only a week prior to competition, Amos said.

“Now it’s just memorizing it and getting it perfect,” he said.

Interfraternity Council President Alex Vu said things have gone smoothly thus far.

“Usually the weather is the biggest problem,” he said.

In the past, University police have had concerns about student actions, but so far there has been nothing to report, Vu said.

James Arcuri is an adviser for the Spring Jam committee. He said Spring Jam was not created strictly for the greek community, although they often have a large turnout.

“Spring Jam is a campuswide activity with a focus on philanthropy and community service open and welcoming to all student organizations,” he said.

Another big event is a battle of the bands. The stakes are high this year as the winner gets to open for Saturday’s headlining band, which has yet to be announced.

First-year journalism student Claire Flitcroft is an Alpha Omicron Pi member and a singer in one of the bands set to perform. The group is to perform a medley of songs from musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Jet.

She will perform with members of Alpha Tau Omega.

“It should go well,” Flitcroft said. “We’re excited about it.”

Because of schedules the group typically has been rehearsing at 11 p.m.

“That’s tough when you have an 8 a.m. class,” she said.

Not all chapters need to participate, but a majority of them do, Rozinka said.

“It’s a way for our chapters to pair with each other and show our support,” Rozinka said. “It’s a great way to get to know each other on campus.”

Rozinka said one of the highlights is watching Ballyhoo and the final weekend’s block party.

Spring Jam kicked off Saturday with an ultimate Frisbee tournament. The finals were Sunday morning.

Marketing sophomore Pat Noggle is a member of Sigma Nu’s ultimate Frisbee team, which competed for the consolation prize Sunday.

Along with Sigma Chi and Kappa Kappa Gamma, Noggle and other members of his chapter competed in the greek category of the Frisbee event.

“It’s just a great chance to get together with people from other houses,” he said. “You get to have fun in a sober environment.”

Because of such a wide range of events, it offers opportunities for many students to participate, Vu said.

“Greek members are pretty social and like to get involved,” he said.