Greek Life

The Greeks prepare for the fiesta

Members of fraternities and sororities have been putting in a lot of hours during the past few months setting up for the festivities/ Nichole Taylor/The Daily Cougar

Members of fraternities and sororities have been putting in a lot of hours setting up for the festivities for the past few months. | Nichole Taylor/The Daily Cougar

Social fraternities and sororities have been preparing during the last two months for Frontier Fiesta, which begins Thursday.

Each fraternity is paired with a sorority, and they spend time building and constructing a set called a “front” that is placed in front of a large white tent.

Daisy Rose Trevino, a Delta Zeta member and a mechanical engineering senior, has been working with members of Sigma Phi Epsilon on the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Zeta set.

Trevino’s tent is in charge of the famous cook-off.

“This is one of the biggest events,” Trevino said. “We’ve been working for the past two months.”

Everyone on site has been putting in an astounding amount of hours.

“I’ve clocked 50 hours since (last) Thursday,” said Michael Haar, a construction management junior and a Sigma Phi Epsilon member.

Building the front is not the only work put into this event; many social Greek groups are putting on shows in their tents, which required even more effort and practice.

Tau Kappa Epsilon and Chi Omega are putting on a play called “The Tale of the Cursed Cougar,” where a curse having to do with the Robertson Stadium demolition contract is placed on the school, and four students must save the campus.

“I would say (we worked) three to four hours, two times a week for the past few weeks,” said Kyle McElroy, a Tau Kappa Epsilon member and a history freshman, who plays the main protagonist, Jack.

Even before coming to the building site, McElroy said Tau Kappa Epsilon was building it at someone’s house prior to bringing it to campus to finish it up. Chi Omega will decorate the set once it’s completed.

Each front is its own “building,” such as Pi Kappa Phi’s schoolhouse, complete with a playground.

The materials are all provided by the students. Fraternities and sororities split the cost of the front equally and raise the money to purchase the wood, paint and other equipment.

Raffles and alumni donations are some of the ways money was raised to build the elaborate sets.

“We have roughly 20 to 30 (fraternities and sororities) participating,” said Jeff Syptak, Frontier Fiesta chairman and a political science senior.

The Greek groups are putting on shows that last about 30 minutes to compete for a trophy and the Joe Koppel Award, named for the second chairman of Frontier Fiesta in 1941.

“The more hours you put in, the more likely you are to win,” Trevino said.

For a school that doesn’t have an official Greek week, Trevino said Frontier Fiesta is a sort of replacement for that.

“This is bigger than homecoming,” Trevino said. “Compared to the float we made, this is ridiculous. We want this to be constantly worked on. From the second the site opens to the second it closes, someone’s working on the front.”

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