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Prepare for the party

Collins is a sophomore English major and can be contacted at  emma.collins@drake.edu

If you’re sporting daisy dukes and cowboy boots with snow on the ground, a dress made entirely out of gold anchors or if you’re already a little too dazed and confused for 11 a.m. on a Saturday, you’re probably headed out to a fraternity or sorority social, crush or date party. Whatever they’re calling it, a lot of time thought and money has been devoted to keeping you (and your date) riding Uncle Buck’s mechanical bull, dancing in cages (while drinking 25 cent beer) or rushing to be the first released from your handcuff date (he was not the FIJI you thought he would be). Whatever or where ever, here’s how to do it:

Find a “fratfit.”
Achieved through excessive planning or thrown together at the last minute, your outfit has to match the theme, be appropriately funny, slutty and/or denim-filled. The more outrageous your outfit is, the more excited you’ll be about the theme and the happier you’ll be to be there. Someone has to wear those jorts from the Salvation Army you will never wear again.

Find a date.
You can’t do these things solo (although I’m sure the red cups will make an appearance).

It all depends on that crucial relationship status. Is it complicated? Are you in a domestic partnership? If you’re taken, then you know what to do. Mystery date? Don’t be too surprised if your girlfriend or boyfriend shows up in that matching tie and crazy hat combo.

If you’re single then let the games begin. While your “Thirsty Thursday” hookup might not be the ideal candidate, who am I to judge? Had your eye on that new Peggy’s bartender? How about the ADPi-A-Palooza rep who visited your house last weekend? Whoever it is, take a chance. If it ends badly, it’s only four hours of the weekend, and either way, you’ll be surrounded by people you like and pay a lot of money to be there with. If you don’t have anyone in mind then grab the best friend (boy, girl, GDI, it doesn’t matter).

Stop, it’s pre-game time.
Okay, you knew this was coming. What you do before the party can set the tone for the whole event. I don’t care if you’re drinking, acting as a sober brother or sister or have “social chair” stamped on your forehead. Maybe keep it to two tequila shots as opposed to 10, grab a quick margarita at El Aguila or just grab some dinner with the non-drinkers.

Make it on the bus.
We’ve all seen the couple (or been the couple) that didn’t even make it on the bus or through the door. Just get there. We’ve all been to Uncle Buck’s, The Boom Boom Room and Sleepy Hollow more times than we probably remember and, while these places can get boring, social chairs pick them because they are easy, cheap and tend to not kick out too many members who have managed to sneak a water bottle or two into the event. Downtown’s Static is home to one of the year’s best Relays parties (cheers, Theta Chi), while the Sigma Chi house managed to represent five countries (and five sororities) at their 2009 Around the World party.

Gonna dance the night away.
It’s bad enough with a Dublin DJ, but when you need to start raging, it’s hard to do without the right soundtrack. If executed well, live music, a DJ or even a good iPod mix can work. It has to be upbeat and trendy but not overplayed. I don’t want to throw my hands up (this isn’t my song, I promise) or dance the cotton-eyed Joe, but I do want to let you know that “I think we’re alone now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone around…”


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  1. Sean February 28, 2011

    Hey Emma,

    Remember that time you railed against sorority stereotypes in response to that DUiN article? And all those “Greek Life, A Way of Life” articles you’ve been writing this semester? You really didn’t help your case with this one. You can write all you want about committing yourself to higher ideals and forging lifelong relationships with your sisters, but when you discuss drinking blatantly in a university-sanctioned newspaper, that’s what’s going to stick in people’s minds. You almost had me going for a few weeks that maybe you weren’t all about alcohol. My bad that i thought differently.

  2. GreekAlumna March 3, 2011

    As an alumna of Drake and a member of a Greek organization, it saddens me that one of our own would choose to promote Drake’s Greek life in such an awful manner. The true meaning of a Greek organization run deeper than any party, promotes leadership and friendship, and encourages the best from every member. It’s unfortunate that this is the best that can be expected from a University run newspaper on a campus where such a high percentage are Greek members who hold leadership positions on campus, internships and jobs throughout the Des Moines community, and promote service in local and national philanthropies. Its unfortuante that in one article Greek life has been set back 20 years. Its unfortunate that PNMs, their parents, the Des Moines community, and Drake Univeristy as one more reason to be concerned and afraid of Greek life. Thank you.

  3. Peter March 3, 2011


    Wow, just wow. With all the risk management issues that have been going on the past two years this was probably not the best article to write about. Not only are you giving Drake University a very bad image, you are insulting many of your fellow students with this entire article. This is by far the worst act of journalism I have ever seen. Let’s take this line for example, “If you don’t have anyone in mind then grab the best friend (boy, girl, GDI, it doesn’t matter).” Are you saying that a GDI is someone not worthy of being called a boy or a girl? I am not in a social fraternity but I have great friends that are. Not once have they ever called me a GDI. I have never been treated as a second class citizen because I chose not to join a fraternity. I hope that any friends that you do have that do not participate in social greek life will see right through your facade of a friendship with them.

  4. Ben Hoffman March 3, 2011

    Dear Emma,

    I was the social chair of my fraternity last year. Guess how many events we had with alcohol? Zero. Guess how many of our events required a date? Zero. Guess how many of our social events included community service? The same number as did not. Guess how many of our events had themes? One. What was it? 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. What did people dress up as? Anything from Kiss to Coop from Baseketball. None of our events were at the places you mentioned, and I put no time into trying to get people to do the things you claim social chairs do.

    I don’t and will never pay money to “be with people.” I don’t buy my friends. I pay money for things like Push America, my fraternity’s philanthropy, to raise awareness and money to better the lives of people with disabilities. I pay money to send my brothers to leadership conferences. I pay money for my brothers to learn about the history of my fraternity. The one thing I am not buying is my friends.

    Those AdPi’s that visited you last week were raising awareness for their philanthropy which raises money for the Ronald McDonald House. What terrible girls!

    I strongly encourage as well as invite you to any event Pi Kappa Phi holds for the rest of the year. Join us for our Alcohol Skills Training Program on Sunday, our Sorority Self Defense Class on April 13th, or our Push America event during Relays Weekend. Please join our alcohol free events with the lovely ladies of Delta Gamma or Alpha Delta Pi this semester. Please join our brotherhood events where we do anything but drink to themes: play video games, frisbee, basketball, or watch movies, or get dinner (Friday’s at 5:30) etc.

    I welcome you to these because I want you to enter into our community. I want you to write from the inside of our community, because, until you experience the inside and immerse yourself within it, you will continue to not only generalize the entire Greek Community, as if the individual fraternities and sororities could be interchangeable, but you will also continue to generalize us a bunch of drinkers, throwing up cash, let’s say “making it rain,” instead of who we really are. So please, come meet us. Introduce yourself. We will gladly meet you, have lunch with you, do whatever you want to do.

  5. a greek March 4, 2011

    This makes me really sad. Especially since you are also Greek.

  6. Greek too March 7, 2011


    You can’t deny the fact that part of your dues go towards funding social events. Your fraternities social budget doesn’t just materialize out of thin air. So yes, you are in fact paying to be able to host social events, and hangout with your friends and brothers at them. We all are, it’s one thing that dues go towards, and I’m not saying that this is a bad thing at all, I’m just saying that it makes no sense for you to try and deny it.

    And your comment about the members of ADPi, “What terrible girls!” I’m confused as to where in this article Emma ever implied that anything they were doing was terrible. As I read it, she was actually suggesting them as a date for a social event. Oh how rude!

    Also, what do you mean by “I welcome you to these because I want you to enter into our community. I want you to write from the inside of our community, because, until you experience the inside and immerse yourself within it, you will continue to not only generalize the entire Greek Community.”…You do realize that Emma belongs to a chapter, and is Greek. She is already immersed in the greek community, and has probably been to at least one exchange with members of your fraternity in the past. So your invite for her to come and get to know the greek community is coming a little late.

    I’m not saying that what was written in this article was either true or appropriate, but regardless, it seems that you need to get a lot of your own facts straight.

  7. Athena March 7, 2011


    You want to know what I think, I think that you care about bringing yourself into the spotlight. There is something that life isn’t fulfilling for you and you decided that you needed some overdue attention.

    The real meanings of being Greek are as follows. Being Greek means that you have family to support you through the good times and the bad times. Being Greek means that you have a bond between people that has been established for decades. Being Greek that means you are never alone, and there is always someone there you can count on. Being Greek means that you have an opportunity to make a difference whether it be reading to children, sending kids who have cancer to camp for their first and maybe last time, or educating citizens on the importance of heart awareness. Sounds like a rambunctious group of young leaders to me.

    You are doing the Greek system a disservice by alluding to all the negative aspects of a Greek society. In every organization, I will bet that a Greek sits on the board of leaders and makes a difference. You’re unworthy opinion only disheartens those Greeks who strive to represent the Greek system in a positive manner.

    It’s shocking that you are Greek. I’m sure you’re Theta President is proud that you are a member of their chapter. Aren’t you glad you brought such a positive light upon the Theta community.


  8. Samantha March 8, 2011

    I stumbled upon this opinion piece and I find this very offensive. I do not even go to Drake, but I am Greek. Being Greek doesn’t mean you get wasted every weekend and sleep with a different guy every weekend. It is about creating life long friendships and giving back to the community. Do some Greeks drink? Yes. Do all Greeks drink? No. Are there the stereotypical Greeks out there? Yes. But the stereotypical idea is not a rule. I realize this is an opinion piece and this is what you believe, but maybe you should be more opened minded and see the good that Greeks do rather focus on an idea that media has portrayed us to be. I would encourage you do more research on what Greek life is all about and maybe you find that some great leaders have been Greek.

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