After the success of the first “Epic Party Weekend” — which was the unofficial name for the weekend two weeks ago, in which four fraternities hosted open, registered parties on the Hill — fraternities hosted open parties for a second, similar weekend Friday.
Alpha Tau Omega, Theta Chi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Kappa Alpha hosted parties in their on-campus fraternity houses, and despite positive results from the first party weekend, a few revisions were made.
“You had to have food out, so we had chips and stuff,” said Chase Mena, ’18, the social chair of Kappa Alpha. “I guess they didn’t really do it that well the first time.”
Fraternities were also required to have nonalcoholic drinks, such as sodas, readily available. Instead of having a handwritten sheet to sign in as the fraternities did last time, Kappa Alpha used an Excel spreadsheet to enter names and ages, Mena said.
“We as a group decided we wanted to make sure that all of our sign in sheets were done on Excel, so that way it was easier to read people’s handwriting,” said Matthew Asteak, ’17, the president of Kappa Alpha.
In addition to the food and sign-in sheets, entrances and exits were another area of change. Fraternities had to tell the university which doors they were using for entrances and exits.
“People would enter in through the main entrance instead of the side door that we used last time,” said Saral Patel, ’19, Pi Kappa Alpha’s social chair.
He said guests exited through the side door to keep the movement downward, instead of going in and out of the same door.
With the help of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Kappa Alpha was allowed to shut the swipe system off on one of the doors. This allowed the fraternity to keep the door open throughout the night so that it could serve as an exit. Asteak said students entered the party through a separate door where sober fraternity members checked IDs and filled out sign-in sheets.
Although someone was cited on the Hill during the open registered parties outside of Kappa Alpha, the individual was not at the Kappa Alpha party, Asteak said.
“It’s something that we didn’t expect to happen that night,” Asteak said.
Asteak said the Interfraternity Council is looking at a system where students would use their Lehigh ID to swipe into parties, which could eliminate non-students from coming to parties. Kallyse Duddlesten, ’17, the Panhellenic Council Vice President Judicial, said friends visiting from other schools who would want to attend a party would have to be vouched for by Lehigh students.
Like the last Hill parties, eight members of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils monitored the parties with two event staff members. Although the student monitors have so far been only students on Interfraternity Council or Panhel, Duddlesten said the responsibility may expand to other students in the future.
One of the goals of the open parties is to foster inclusivity because everyone is allowed to enter these open parties. Mena said some people may be intimidated to attend parties off-campus, and he believes the change to open parties may encourage students to mingle with students in other Greek houses.
“I never really go to parties with my friends in other houses because we have parties on the same nights,” Mena said. “So having an open, registered, people usually don’t have parties so they can go hang out at other houses.”
Patel said the open parties fostered inclusivity among the Greek community.
“I have friends in (Sigma Chi) that I haven’t seen in a while, and I got to hang out with them at the party at our house,” Patel said.
More on-campus parties could be a possibility next semester.
“The social scene is off-campus, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that wouldn’t want it to come back up here,” Asteak said. “We were happy.”
Mena said the only issue with the open registered was that the chapter found out only a few days in advance, so there wasn’t much time to plan and rearrange their social schedule.
Duddlesten said something could be done to make sober monitors more visible. She said there is no way to differentiate the student monitors from party-goers, so they are looking into have these monitors wear something to set them apart.
Both Mena and Patel said on-campus parties are still more expensive than off-campus parties. For the Hill parties, the fraternities had to accommodate 200 to 300 people, which is much more expensive than accommodating about 60 people off-campus, Patel said. Mena and Patel said more than 300 people attended their parties.
“I would say it was success in the matter that we learned from our mistakes from the previous time and we worked to fix that,” Patel said. “I think a lot of the houses can learn from our mistakes and we can learn from their mistakes as well.”
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs did not have any comment about the weekend’s events.