Frats consider ways to keep parties manageable

Dec. 4, 2012, 7:43 a.m.

Three fraternities opened their doors last weekend to the Stanford student body, with Kappa Alpha (KA), Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and Theta Delta Chi opting to throw all-campus parties the weekend before dead week.

SAE President Nelson Estrada ’13 said that his fraternity waited longer to see how the party scene would play out over the course of the quarter before throwing an all-campus party. SAE’s first large party, the back-to-school party during the first week of the quarter, required attendees to have wristbands.

At the time, fraternity members cited concern that the groups were risking problems that could result from the actions of partygoers.

“[Holding the party before dead week] is really a win not only for us, because it’s not as crowded, but also for students,” Estrada said. “They enjoy jumping around from one house to another.”

The size of the crowd at all-campus parties is frequently the subject of complaints from partygoers and a topic of concern for fraternities who have to deal with crowd control.

Some fraternity leaders would like to see more weekends with multiple all-campus parties occurring simultaneously.

“Then, theoretically, the numbers would more or less be split and it would be a lot less crowded and a lot more enjoyable for everyone at those parties,” Sigma Chi Social Chair John Leganski ’13 said. “But in practice, that doesn’t happen too often.”

Coordination between fraternity social chairs can prove difficult, Leganski said, and while there is a listserv for all Inter-Fraternity Council social chairs, the level of collaboration is inconsistent.

“It really changes from quarter to quarter,” said Estrada, who was an SAE social chair for four quarters. “Maybe all the socials from most fraternities lived in the same freshman dorm so those guys communicate, and other times you’ll have rivals who don’t really want to talk to each other.”

There is also a host of factors involved in picking a date for an all-campus party independent of what other fraternities may or may not do.

Some fraternities prefer to avoid home football game days because people might be tired after a long tailgate and game, Estrada said.

Others want to introduce themselves to the freshman class with an all-campus party early fall quarter. Leganski cited that as a reason there can be frontloading of the all-campus party calendar for the quarter. KA President James Balassone ’13 said that planning a party earlier in the quarter can allow more people to come because classes are not in full gear yet.

However, Balassone added that planning a party for later in fall quarter has benefits because much of the planning can happen once the fraternity members are back on campus instead of over the summer. The parties can also be less risky for the fraternities later in the quarter because by that point “the freshmen have settled down a little bit,” Leganski said.

Alice Phillips '15 is Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. Previously, she worked as the paper's Deputy Editor, Chief Copy Editor, a News Desk Editor and a News Staff Writer. Alice is a biology major from Los Angeles, California.

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