Of all of this year’s Welcome Days activities, last Thursday’s Greek Festival may have been the most welcoming. The field behind Leutner was packed with incoming freshmen and friendly, enthusiastic representatives of over a dozen Greek chapters. The people, the sunshine, and the aroma of deep-fried Oreos (courtesy Phi Kappa Theta) made the atmosphere more than inviting.
According to Wes Schaub, Case’s Director of Greek Life, the carnival is designed to let freshmen “see the different personalities of the groups.” It is especially important for the fraternities, which are now kicking off their many rush activities. But the carnival is also a great opportunity for returning students to reconnect with old friends and enjoy what’s left of summer vacation. There were several traditional carnival games, such as cornhole (Phi Kappa Psi), basketball (Beta Theta Pi), and a dunking booth (ZBT). A few of the more creative activities included Sig Ep’s sumo wrestling and Sigma Psi’s “Ducky Derby,” in which contestants aimed water guns at large inflated ducks in order to race them across a pool. Another favorite was the Delts’ take on whack-a-mole—better described as “whack a brother with a pool noodle.” And there was certainly no shortage of refreshments, including root beer floats (provided by Theta Chi), snow cones (Fiji), and “mocktails” (Delta Gamma). Overall, the festival was a lot of fun for both new and returning students, and was a great way to welcome this year’s freshmen to the campus community.
The Greek festival was followed by RHA’s annual Casino Night, a three-hour game extravaganza hosting multiple student organizations and taking up most of the Thwing building. The activities didn’t stop until midnight, but it was certainly worth staying for the end—in the last half-hour, RHA raffled off a long list of prizes. All were practical dorm room items, such as step stools, butterfly chairs, movies, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. Students were given raffle tickets at the door, but could obtain extra tickets by redeeming any chips they won—and some students got pretty competitive.
And although the event lasted late into the night, the atmosphere remained lively until the very end. The atrium was buzzing with students playing cards or just chatting while enjoying soda, chips, trail mix, and other munchies. The second floor offered Texas hold ‘em, blackjack, craps, and roulette, as well as bingo for the first time. There were also chess, board games, and Magic the Gathering, sponsored by Case’s Chess, Board Game, and Magic clubs respectively. The third floor served mocktails and hosted a Euchre tournament. It seemed that Casino Night offered something for everyone—from experienced players looking for competition to beginners just wanting to try something new. It was certainly a creative way of encouraging first-year students to get, and stay, involved on campus. As freshman Sarah Ancell said of Casino Night, “This is a good thing.” She and her roommate, Jenna Somrak seemed to think that the Welcome Days events were crucial in helping first-year students meet people outside of their dorms, and ultimately integrating them into the Case community.