Members of the Greek-letter community rallied behind the men’s basketball team Saturday, holding a tailgate before the game aimed at creating a “state school” feel at a University that some say lacks school spirit.
Two hours before the game began, members of fraternities and sororities gathered in the alley behind Townhouse Row for an outdoor barbecue. After the event, most members made their way to the Smith Center to cheer on the Colonials.
“The culture of tailgating gets people out and excited for their team,” said Tyler Fishbone, a sophomore and member of Pi Kappa Alpha. “It makes me really happy to finally have this. But I don’t want it to be a special event, I want this more often than that.”
Sophomore Mark Halstead, also a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, suggested that the Greek-letter community “can really mobilize a lot of people because we have people all over campus.”
The leadership of Greek-letter life agreed that their members could help mobilize the campus toward greater school spirit.
“Greeks are involved with tons of other campus groups like Program Board and the Student Association,” said Chandler Bonanno, vice president of the Panhellenic Association. “So in that way, I think we have the ability to reach out to all students and encourage school spirit.”
Others were not so optimistic about the future of school spirit at GW.
“I don’t think we can emulate a state school, but it’s good to encourage excitement once in a while,” said Katerina Taketzis, a sophomore member of Alpha Epsilon Phi.
Throughout the game students were asked trivia questions pertaining to Greek-letter life and were awarded prizes for answering correctly.
Additionally, the Ken Pikus Memorial Award was granted to the members of Pi Kappa Alpha, in honor of their win in the fraternity intramural sports league. The members were awarded a plaque during a special recognition ceremony during the game.
The president of the chapter, Nicky Sampogna, accepted the award from family members of Ken Pikus, a former member of Pi Kappa Alpha who was killed in a car accident in 1998.