The second annual Welcome Back Block Party was a fun and festive event to not only welcome returning students but also introduce first-year students to campus. On Sunday, Aug. 27, members of Delta Tau Delta, Theta Chi, Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) and Alpha Phi had open arms and open lawns, entertaining students with summer cookout food favorites and yard games spanning the entire road.
Pat Balsam, third-year student and member of ZBT was part of those who planned the event and made sure all of the block was working and getting ready for it. According to Balsam, the preparations did not take long for the four Greek houses of Magnolia Drive as their inhabitants had moved into the houses a week earlier.
Promotion was the biggest part of the project. The brothers and sisters chalked invitations all over campus and spread the message through Facebook, the two fastest and easiest ways to communicate to the student body.
According to Balsam, they “wanted to have an event to welcome everyone to campus whether it’s their first year or their last. All of the chapters on the street have really good relationships with each other so it was a great chance to reconnect with our neighbors.”
All those involved aimed to create an inclusive block party where everyone who showed up both felt like and knew they were welcome. Every student was offered hamburgers, hot dogs and other summer foods while having the opportunity to participate in games such as ladder toss with friends and with strangers. With food and fun everywhere, it was a lively alternative to Leutner Commons. All the attendees, from Greek to unaffiliated to first-years learning about Greek Life, were able to de-stress just before classes began.
While to non-Greek students this was a fun stop on Sunday before classes, to those part of Greek Life, this was a new annual favorite to mix and mingle. Tyome Niroomand, third-year student and member of the sole sorority involved, Alpha Phi, was excited about coming together with the neighboring fraternities: “Mixers don’t happen often between the fraternities and ourselves, so having an annual opportunity to coordinate and hang out with everyone is a treat.”
Looking back at the event, it is clear that it was a success. This fairly new event will soon become a tradition, as the four houses plan to continue to host the party annually. So, if you missed out, there is no need to worry. Be on the lookout next year for this great send-off into an even better school year.