By Joshua Van Laan
On Wednesday, March 28, sorority Kappa Alpha Theta held the Theta Olympic Games at the Dow for the first time. All proceeds for the event were donated to Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy foundation CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
Like any Olympic Games, the Theta Olympics were centered on various teams competing in different games and activities. Instead of a team format, the competition pitted all the campus fraternities and sororities against one another.
“CASA helps abused and neglected children in the foster care system have someone speak up for,” said Marie Brown, Clark Lake junior and Kappa Alpha Theta philanthropy chair. “[It’s] making sure they know they have a voice and are cared for.”
Before the event officially began, Patsy Karbon, CASA director of the Coldwater branch, spoke about what CASA is and how they help children.
“I want to thank from Kappa Alpha Theta for bringing me here,” Karbon said. “They’ve given us money that has helped us and helped each child.”
Because of what the games entailed and the fact that communication of directions was made difficult by the chatter of the crowd, the event became a series of hectic scenarios. Inadvertently, this led to many confused and upset participants. However, hurdles like these are expected for first-time events.
The first game that was held involved a hula hoop event which five people from each house lined up, held hands and had to transfer the hula hoop from one side of the line and back again.
Next, the teams participated in an event similar to an egg and spoon race, but a ping pong ball replaced the spoon. Contestants had to balance the ping pong ball on a spoon in their mouth while walking across the Dow, around a cone and back again.
The third game ended with a twist not seen in the other ones. In this game, one member of a chapter was to sit in a chair and cover their face with shaving cream. After they did this, three other members from their respective chapters were to throw Cheerios on their face and try to get as many as they could to stick within the allotted time.
Surprisingly, a tied resulted between Sigma Chi and Delta Sigma Phi. In order to determine a winner, event organizers decided that the two participants would be thrown into a trivia round.
Participants were asked what philanthropy Theta donated to besides CASA. After several intense minutes, Delta Sigma Phi answered correctly with the Friendship Foundation.
The next event had Greek members blow up a balloon and use it to knock over a tower of cups on a table. This event was over within seconds for both the fraternities and sororities.
The last event was arguably the longest and most thought-out. It started off with one member putting their head against a baseball bat and spinning around in circles. Once sufficiently dizzy, they then had to throw bags into a bin. Once all of them were thrown into the bin, they ran to two of their members in front of them who then began to participate in a three-legged race.
After the race was completed, another member at the end had to put on nylons filled with tennis balls and knock over traffic cones using their head. They then threw ping pong balls into three different cups.
The event concluded with tallied scores and winners announced. For the fraternities it was Tau Kappa Epsilon and for the sororities it was Alpha Chi Omega.
Not only did they announce the fraternity and sorority winners, but they also announced their male and female philanthropy winners as well, titled Mr. Casanova and the Pansy Princess. The winners were Nick Dahlstrom, Larimer, Pa., junior and Tau Kappa Epsilon member, and Jillian Diane, Sagina Valley junior and Kappa Delta member.
When asked about winning the titles, both seemed rather happy about it and the event.
“I think it’s a pretty good thing,” Dahlstrom said. “Not only did it create competition and help raise money for the CASA foundation, but it was also a good way to represent your house. I tried contributing a lot of time. I’m very thankful to a lot of my brothers who helped support me and support the house, but also for the sake of charity.”
“I persuaded people to donate to CASA, and for my costume I had a pansy dress,” Diane said. “I think it’s a really cool honor, I get to tell all my friends I’m a princess.”
Photo by Josh Van Laan