Fraternities host tailgates on Saturday morning, Oct. 29, 2016, on the grassy field next to Goodman Stadium. Lehigh students have been hosting events with other schools such as Lafayette and Drexel. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Crossing enemy lines: Lehigh organizations host social events with rival Lafayette

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With the 152nd football game between Lehigh and Lafayette approaching, the last thing that may come to mind with such a bitter rivalry is the idea of having social gatherings with the opposition.

Despite the competition between the two sides, students from Lehigh and Lafayette have been able to put their feelings aside and pick up beer cans instead. Throughout the academic year, several fraternities and athletic teams have hosted Lafayette’s sororities on campus, especially during Lehigh-Lafayette week.

Often a member of the hosting Lehigh fraternity will know one of the sisters in the Lafayette sorority from high school or through another mutual friend. From there, they exchange phone numbers between the social chairs to coordinate the party, said Dan Izzo, ’17, a brother of Delta Upsilon.

A social chair in a fraternity or sorority is the person in charge of scheduling parties and other social gatherings within the Greek community on campus.

“When I was the social for (Delta Upsilon), we usually had a brother in the house that knew someone from Lafayette,” Izzo said. “Most of the time it was someone in the house that is from the Lehigh Valley area.”

He said having the mutual friend is a key component to making the scheduling process as easy and painless as possible.

Another brother in DU, Andrew Grofe, ’18, said he believes without that connection, members of the fraternities would need to come up with creative ideas to come in contact with the Lafayette sororities.

“Fortunately we’ve had a good amount of brothers who went to high school with girls at Lafayette, so scheduling the party was the easiest part of the process,” Grofe said.

Normally, the Lehigh fraternity and Lafayette sorority will split the cost of transportation when the two schools have an event together. Brad Mayes, ’19, a Lehigh football player and brother of Chi Psi, said sororities usually take a bus to Lehigh, and head back to Lafayette around 12:30 or 1 a.m.

“In the past, we have always split the costs with them and it has worked out well,” Mayes said. “It has been a lot of fun to get to know some people from other schools around Lehigh, especially from our biggest rival, Lafayette.”

Another concern that has been raised is the safety of making the trip from Lafayette to Lehigh and back to Lafayette after a night of drinking.

The loss-prevention members, or “sober monitors,” of the fraternity and participating sorority usually stay in contact throughout the night to limit risk and make sure people are making safe decisions.

“We almost always have our loss-prevention guy stay sober when sororities from other schools come to our parties,” Izzo said. “By doing this we can help keep things in check for the most part and keep everyone safe.”

For the most part, fraternities don’t look at this as a better or worse experience than partying with Lehigh sororities. It is viewed as something different and unique.

Instead of scoring touchdowns and tackling the opponent, the students are put in a position to meet new people and strengthen the relationship between the two schools.

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