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Making waves for philanthropy

Photos courtesy of Robin Sautter

Music blaring, feet tapping and hands clapping resounded from the Bell Center aquatic facility last Saturday morning as excited fans, spirited sororities and fraternities and watchful lifeguards packed the pool for the annual Delta Gamma Anchor Splash.

Notorious for creative and comical synchronized swimming routines and the ever-competitive inner tube race, Drake’s Panhellenic organizations donned swimsuits, rain boots and even plaid for the annual event.

The money raised supports Service For Sight, an organization that collects used eyeglasses, provides vision screenings for children and helps fund the Iowa Braille School.

Anchor Splash has been a Drake tradition for 33 years, and it featured participation from all 13 of Drake’s Greek organizations, marked by deafening cheers heard well beyond the pool deck.

“The entire Greek community gets involved by buying T-shirts, donating money and working on synchronized swimming routines,” Delta Gamma junior Anna Schmitt said. “I’m always amazed at how much work the chapter puts into Anchor Splash and the creativity they have.”

Swimmers battled between the lane ropes to start the event, relying on strength and stamina in pursuit of the coveted two-man swim crown. Sigma Phi Epsilon proved powerful early in the event, which is characterized by the particularly difficult task of swimming the length of the pool with a fellow brother or sister clinging to one’s ankles.

Next, the sororities and fraternities faced off in a timeless test of teamwork with the medley relay. Featuring the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle, each team planned its attack with hopes of touching the wall first. SigEp again proved victorious in the event’s second heat, adding another tally to its Anchor Splash event wins.

For sorority members wishing for more leisurely participation in the day’s aquatic activities, the inner tube race was a perfect fit. Members of Drake’s fraternities dived into the chilly water, racing to reach their sorority counterparts at the other end of the pool.  Splashing up a storm, the boys pushed the inner tubes down each lane, kicking furiously as the girl in each tube extended her arm to tap the pool’s ledge first.

The day’s anxiously awaited synchronized swimming performances came next. Featuring Drake’s sororities followed by the fraternities, the routines channeled everything from ‘80s dance moves to “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

Sporting matching swim caps, Alpha Phi earned a barrage of cheering with its gravity-defying flips and twists. However, Kappa Alpha Theta captured the crowd with its creative use of umbrellas and rain boots, perfectly suited for the performance’s opening number, “It’s Raining Men.”

“Besides Sweetheart Sing, there aren’t a ton of big events like this,” said sophomore Lauren Erickson, who supported her Kappa Alpha Theta sisters by participating in the breaststroke leg of the medley relay. “This is the only water event. It’s fun to see the people who are in synchro(nized swimming) come together to make such cool routines.”

FIJI donned matching swimsuits and infectious energy for its performance and got the entire crowd clapping to “Interlude” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Drawing perhaps the most applause and cheers, members of SigEp took to the pool deck in plaid, kicking off a medley of songs with a version of Shania Twain’s “I Feel Like a Woman.” The group abandoned its country roots quickly, transitioning into a familiar song from the movie “Mulan,” and later brandished noodles as “Kung Fu Fighting” played in the background.

Festive plaid and clever props weren’t the only things of importance at Saturday’s event, though.

The performance meant “lots of hard work, hours of writing music, hours of practicing in our own private pool” for first-year Theta Chi Sean Duncan. With a pledge class of just three, the boys wanted to represent Theta Chi with a sense of pride.

“It’s all about the chemistry,” Duncan said. “We are one of the smaller groups, so it was all about coming together.”

Beyond the rowdy atmosphere, the uninhibited splashing and the matching attire, the event marked a collective effort by Drake’s Greek organizations to support a common cause.

“Anchor Splash is a great event because it raises money for our foundation, Service for Sight, and we have a lot of fun while doing it,” Schmitt said. “At Delta Gamma, we value philanthropy because it gives us the opportunity to give back to the community and engage in a cause that we would not otherwise get a chance to be involved in.”

Winner’s Circle:

Guys Overall – Theta Chi
Girls Overall – Kappa Alpha Theta

Guys Synchro – Sigma Chi
Girls Synchro – Alpha Phi


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  1. Learn how to report October 10, 2011

    Please learn how to report when you write an article. Theta Chi most certainly does not have a pledge class of 3. It’s more like 15. You might want to consider a change in majors.

  2. Sam Fredrickson October 10, 2011

    Contrary to popular belief, Theta Chi’s pledge class is a little bigger than 3. Try 14.

  3. Ryan Raether October 10, 2011

    Theta Chi has a pledge class of 14. Get your facts right.

  4. The Truth October 10, 2011

    To get a job at an actual newspaper, you need to report what actually happened. I would give you an A for sig ep propaganda, but an F for reporting what really happened. Whoever you are taylor soule, you fail

  5. Jack October 10, 2011

    This article is a little biased, didn’t Theta Chi win and not Sig Ep or Fiji? How come there is no mention of theta chi’s performance then? If Sig Ep drew the most applause and cheers how come they did not place in the top rankings, also Theta chi has a pledge class of 14 not 3 that is a pretty long ways off. Good reporting, and i am being 100% sarcastic.

  6. What? October 10, 2011

    Did you even go to this event Taylor Soule?! You were wrong from the first sentence. “Music blaring”? The music was too quiet to hear from anywhere but right in front of the pathetic stereo. And why is FIJI in the photo? Did they even win? What a joke.

  7. Horrendous Reporting October 10, 2011

    Biased much? I know people have been saying this already, but this is ridiculous. How were the Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi routines, you know, seeing as they won. Pretty poor reporting and not an accurate descriptions of the events at all. Very ready for The Times Delphic to step it up.

  8. InHoc October 10, 2011

    Sigma Chi won the synchro….That’s not even mentioned in the actual article except the bottom. I guess writing about the losers of the competition is more interesting than the winners. Poor reporting, definite favoritism for certain houses.

  9. Theta Chi won anchor splash, they should be the headliner. Not Sig Ep and Fiji. Also, it was stellar reporting on your part when Sigma Chi won the synchronized swimming but according to you only Sig Ep and Fiji were the only participants. If they got the most applause and cheers, why didn’t they win? You should remove your bias before writing news or move to the opinion section. 3 pledges for TC, thats an insult. How is there no mention of the winning routine for Sigma Chi or praise for Theta Chi stepping up and winning it all? Poor

  10. Disappointed at the editors October 10, 2011

    I will be sending an email to the TD editors about the subjectivity of this article and of the gross inaccuracies.

    This would get an F in a JMC056 class, and it makes our newspaper look amateurish at best

    1. Get your facts straight October 11, 2011

      JMC056? Did you mean to say Broadcast Advertising? I think you meant J54, Reporting & Writing Principles. Next time, why don’t you try to get your facts straight.

  11. Sean October 10, 2011

    Positives-Thank you for putting in my quote. That was done very well and you fully captured my meaning.
    Negatives- There is no mention of Theta Chi, its week long effort to win the event, or the fact that our relays and sychro routine were done with only 2 upperclassmen and still able to place us above larger fraternities that had high levels of upperclassmen involvement. And fyi if you are wondering where our upperclassmen were, they were serving at habitat for humanity.

  12. Agreed October 10, 2011

    I agree with all these comments. Regardless of what fraternity/sorority you are in, this article is completely unrepresentative of what actually occurred at Anchor Splash. You should be kicked out of journalism school.

  13. Trevor Funk October 10, 2011

    To the editors of the Times Delphic, the writer of this article and the faculty advisor:

    I look forward to hearing your responses to the letter I recently sent you. I also look forward to your recognition of the issues I have brought up in the next issue of The Times Delphic.


    Trevor Funk
    President of Theta Chi

  14. Embarrassed Drake Student October 10, 2011

    This is grossly biased and a disappointment for any college level newspaper.

  15. What about the sororities? October 10, 2011

    Besides the fact that there is a massive bias towards certain fraternities and poor representation of what actually happened, what about the sororities? The sororities put a lot of time and effort into ALL the events as well, including the rescue a DG event.

    On a positive note the pictures in the TD look really good.

  16. Lindsay October 10, 2011

    This is an insulting article. I was a Theta Chi coach and we put A LOT of effort into this week and THAT is what should have been reported. The other fraternities are great but Theta Chi put a TON of work into it and they should be recognized for their AMAZING job raising money for our cause.

  17. Speachless October 10, 2011

    I have read some articles that could have maybe used a little bit of help to make them great, but this is just down right horrible.

    The point of Delta Gamma’s philanthropy is not to idolize one fraternity and just mention the winners who pulled all week for the great cause of Service for Sight. Check your facts. This is one of the worst articles I have seen in a long time.

  18. Alex Fish October 10, 2011

    Honestly, I am not surprised to see this lack of professionalism and journalistic talent from this publication. If you can’t even accurately report how the entire Greek system came together to raise money for the visually impaired, then maybe you should consider refraining from reporting on us altogether.

    Alex Fish

  19. Mr. Rohl October 10, 2011

    Taylor, your article disgraced the hard work my new members placed into a week long service event. As a junior on campus, I expect more out of a drake organization. We hold our members to a higher standard for this very reason. I would hope the hard working gentlemen in my house place more of an emphasis on their tasks then you place on yours ( although I feel they do as they won a philanthropy; where as you disgraced yourself and your paper.) feel free to contact me and set up a time for me to line up our new members and we can count together.

  20. Seriously? October 10, 2011

    Ok, really?
    First, whoever said “whoever you are, Taylor Soule,” or whatever it was, she’s been in the TD multiple times already. And she’s an amazing writer. Everyone makes mistakes. She makes one and you jump all over it? Nice. Oh, and let’s publish it all over the internet. That’s classy.
    It’s harder than it seems to get good pictures and she wasn’t even in charge of those pictures. So get YOUR facts straight before you blame her for that.

    Give her credit for writing it at all. Or, write the article yourself next time. At least she got 15 bucks for it.

  21. Theta Chi? Who? October 10, 2011

    Theta Chi…you mad bro? I believe the next article published by TD should be concerned with Theta Chi’s emotions. Or perhaps, maybe Theta Chi should write an article for the TD so that I may criticize all of their inaccuracies. Theta Chi…you mad bro? Someday all journalists will be better at what they do and never make mistakes thanks to the helpful, constructive criticism of Theta Chi. Thank you Theta Chi. You are brilliant. Theta Chi…you mad bro? Guess what Theta Chi…we are in college! To most people, that means we are in a learning environment. One such way of learning is trial-and-error. How noble of you all to jump on one article about the number of pledges you attained.
    Here’s what most people are thinking about the number of pledges you got…We don’t care. The number of pledges you attained does not matter to me or anyone. In fact, the world would go on if you had no pledges at all. Your comments seem to be based off of fear. That fear is of being a weak fraternity. Theta Chi…you mad bro?

    Oh and why have I heard of every other fraternity except yours?

    1. Marie October 10, 2011

      I agree with the last comment. While journalists strive for accurate facts, it doesn’t always happen. There are multiple parties to blame here, and putting it all on the writer or the paper isn’t fair. How many of you have actually gone out to write a story? How many of you have tried to contribute to the TD besides bashing it? Do you know how hard it is to put out a paper? Probably not. While I do not approve of what getting facts wrong, I also feel that it happens to all rookie reporters. This girl is a first year, and ripping her a new one isn’t going to help the situation. The fact that it seems greek life is banding together to make this hard on her isn’t helping either. There are such things as “corrections” that newspapers make. Send one in. It’s not that hard. Next time, find a better cause to work for besides making a first-year cry.

      It’s a college publication that is working hard to be better every time. It doesn’t always work. I also don’t think whoever “embarrassing” is should blame the editors. It’s not their fault the reporter doesn’t know what she is doing. They’ll take this as a learning experience and hopefully produce a better issue next time.

      1. Grow Up... October 11, 2011

        Possibly the only comment on here I agree with is Marie’s.

        To the rest of you, you all need to grow up. Mistakes happens, and we can’t really do anything to change that. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, and let me tell you that saying that a girl should get “kicked out of journalism school,” is certainly not constructive criticism. Taylor is a FIRST-YEAR journalism major who probably has not even taken J54, give her a break, there probably many times where you have made a mistake and you wished you could take it back.

        Also, I don’t understand why greek life is such a touchy subject. Once one thing is misreported or something bad is said about greek life, everyone just gets their panties in a bunch and it makes life hell for everyone. If any of you remember the DUiN article from last year about sororities, you know what I am talking about. As a Greek myself, I simply do not care that much about greek life. Yes, I love my fraternity, yes I live by our house motto, but no I do not care if someone talks smack about greek life because guess what? Not everyone is going to like greek life. Frankly I am ashamed about how greek life is being represented in these comments, because now anyone who reads the comments on this article will see us as whiny little bitches.

        Also to the person who wrote “Theta Chi? Who?”, your comment was unnecessary, and obviously you have some beef with Theta Chi, or maybe even greek life. We are trying to bring everyone together on campus and your comment just separates us more. The points of your statement were shadowed by your condescending and ignorant remarks. I would hope that in the future you could try to make a stronger argument that isn’t riddled with personal antagonisms.

        My last comment goes to Taylor Soule. If you have read everyone’s comments (i really hope you haven’t), I just have a few words for you. Haters gonna hate. Don’t let these people get you down your first year of college. You are here to learn about journalism, and you have written some great articles. Put this one behind you, but don’t forget it.

        -Love and Respect

    2. Anthony Thomas October 10, 2011

      fear? says the anonymous commentator over the internet.
      Way to ignore the big picture and focus entirely on only one of many issues in this article while simultaneously bashing an entire fraternity you don’t know. You will never know the hard work we put into this. You would be mad too if you got first and credit was given to others. Maybe the next article should be written about your emotions. Who are you again? did you write the article? Are you in Theta Chi? No, so stop going into a white hot rage over something that doesn’t concern you. There are plenty of other ways to deal with anger, i’m sure a counselor would be willing to listen to you vent about your anger with Theta Chi, or your parents (there always their for you Mr.anonymous. Mommy loves you) Why are we angry? because this concerns us. Because we worked hard. Because were proud.
      and why haven’t you heard of Theta Chi before? We honestly could care less…bro

    3. a GDI observer October 10, 2011

      hey “bro” i do not understand how they have “fear.” to me it sounds like they wanted the facts to be stated and felt like they were under-represented in this article. i dont know whats on your mind “bro” but taking pride in an accomplishment and then having it be degraded, yea i can understand their frustration. and sure “bro”, you dont care about how many pledges they got but im sure if you were in their shoes you wouldnt be too happy with this reporting.

      and if you haven’t heard of theta chi, sounds like you should get to know them a little more, “bro”

  22. Andrew Brice October 11, 2011

    Let me put this straight I understand that there were some harsh comments made about Taylor and I’m sure everyone would be willing to apologize to her.

    It’s not her fault I wouldn’t expect her to know everything about “Greek Life” it’s tough for those involved in Greek Life to see it from the other side. I commend her for being a writer for the TD something I never had the guts to do.

    The main frustration here is not about the writer or the article, but the fact that fraternities & sororities at Drake have gotten a very bad reputation over the years so when they all put in a lot of work to do something “good” (yes, pool competitions and penny wars “do good”) they’d appreciate recognition is given where it is due.

    Theta Chi’s frustration comes because over the past year they have gotten a bad reputation on campus and have worked extremely hard to improve it. So when they win a competition (even though it’s just a philanthropy) against, Sig Ep, a fraternity that typically gets a lot of recognition on campus it means a lot to the members of the house. Winning philanthropies is one of the few ways fraternities and sororities can show they are an organization that doesn’t just care about partying. They aren’t asking for praise and to be called the best thing since sliced bread (which was a great invention I may add), but they would appreciate that the facts and story is accurately represented.

    The real way the story should have been written is about how all the Greek Organizations came together to raise X dollars for Delta Gamma’s Philanthropy, and they did it while swimming in a pool.


    Andrew Brice

  23. Vitaliy October 11, 2011

    Great post Andrew Brice! But,the real story should be about how one fraternity came together more than the other ones and won the overall title.

  24. Sincerely Disappointed October 11, 2011

    I am so disappointed in this article and the TD. I had hoped to catch up on what happened at the event since I was unable to make it yet instead I read a biased and inaccurate article that painted the girls as vapid and SigEp as the only fraternity worth noticing. I know this not to be true, especially since SigEp won neither the synchro nor the overall. No mention of the actual fraternity winners were put into this article, and they should be noted for the great work to help out with this deserving philanthropy. I would have hoped that through the editing process, some veteran TD reporters would have caught the numerous problems with this article and use it as an opportunity to teach the younger writers, but apparently no one takes the time to worry about accuracy there.

    I keep hoping for better, but I guess I should just stop believing in the TD.

  25. Greek Enthusiast October 11, 2011

    Its frightening that so many of you took the time to comment on this without adding any positive criticisms for Taylor- only insults. She is a first year journalism student who JUST got to Drake and is blessed with the opportunity to write for a paper on campus. Give her some slack for following what she enjoys, so hop off.

    Theta Chis- This article wasn’t made for you guys. This was an article addressing the DAY of Anchor Splash and the events, not the philanthropy week. The purpose wasn’t even about who won, but rather the importance of a Greek community being able to come together to support each other.

    Real mature going straight for the Sig Eps and FIJIs because they were referenced. Being in the crowd, I can definitely support the statement that the Sig Eps killed the races and the FIJIs got the crowd going the loudest during synchro. I do think that she should have maybe mentioned a little more about the Sig Chi routine, but it wasn’t like she wrote an article ABOUT Sig Ep or FIJI.

    If you really have an issue with this article, then write one yourself or stop complaining about the TND.

  26. Scott Loy October 12, 2011

    Greek Enthusiast and Andrew Brice are extremely correct.

    As GE said, hop off. She is writing for the TD as a learning experience and yes, she will make errors. So she will learn from them but she didn’t need numerous people throwing the errors in her face. Win or lose, relax. We raised a great amount of money for a great cause and that is what’s important. She has the courage to write articles and she should be commended, not insulted. Brag about winning certain events or the week itself on your own time and leave this poor girl alone.

  27. Kyle Tobin October 12, 2011

    As a member of Theta Chi, I hope everyone can understand why we are upset. We felt underrepresented in this article as a fraternity for our week long effort to raise money for the Delta Gamma’s philanthropy. I can vouch for the fact that SigEp did do well in the races, but to say for the synchronized swimming routine “Drawing perhaps the most applause and cheers, members of SigEp took to the pool deck…” when they did not even place in the top 3 seemed blatantly biased to our fraternity, Sigma Chi, and many independents. Also highlighting Fiji when they lost both the overall and synchronized swimming we felt was also unfair. We felt that the article should have been based on the Greek community coming together as a whole to raise money for a worthy philanthropy. If specific fraternities were to be mentioned, we felt that Theta Chi or Sigma Chi should have received more recognition for their enormous victories than just in a small place in the “winners circle” at the bottom of the article. There were a couple of incorrect statements in this article as well including our pledge class size or the “music blaring” but I’m sure none were intentional and I hope that Taylor, the editors, and the entire Times Delphic team will learn from this article and continue to improve themselves. I have never had a problem with the Times Delphic before this article and I don’t think one article should represent or define their organization.
    -Love and Respect

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