by Emily Sakamoto
Spring rush ushered in a whopping 26 new Beta Theta Pi (Beta) brothers. Kenyon students can thank them, along with the rest of the brothers, on Saturday when they’re enjoying a giant sand pit on South Quad.
This weekend, the Beta brothers will be handling all expenses for Saturday afternoon’s post-Summer Sendoff activities on South Quad. The fraternity is looking at expenses totaling an expected $2,000.
“It came from generous donations from families of members and new members,” Beta President Nick Gasbarro ’15 said.
Brandon January ’15, Beta social chair, expressed the organization’s hope of coming out of this event with a renewed sense of camaraderie with the other Greek organizations on campus.
“We decided to do this [because] we wanted to have a huge party which involved everyone,” January said. “I guess Betas built up a bad [reputation] in the past, and we’re trying to branch out to other organizations.”
Shouldering the weight of Saturday’s activities is now something that the previously fiscally strained Betas can fathom. Past struggles with taxes surrounding the Beta Temple on North campus have finally been settled.
“We’re coming out of immense financial problems,” Gasbarro said. “Our chapter is finally in a place where we are able to finance ourselves, whereas in the past we never could do that. We’re comfortable where we are.”
Despite their rocky financial history, the Betas are willing to move forward by footing the bill for Saturday’s activities. Their decision comes in light of last year’s relative failure from various disjointed groups to attempt to extend Sendoff’s activities, a decision which stemmed from students wanting to continue the old Saturday tradition. Modifications to the event over the years have spawned a sense of student dissatisfaction among those still seeking the thrills of legendary Sendoffs of years past, which spanned both Friday and Saturday.
“Last year, the Saturday [event] wasn’t really anything,” Gasbarro said. “It’s a void we’re trying to fill. … We’re really hoping it works out.”
The Betas have made it clear that they don’t see their hosting Saturday’s activities as asserting dominance over other Greek societies.
“It’s kind of a good deal for everybody,” Gasbarro said. “They’re drinking beer on our tab and they get to do the exact same thing we’re going to do. … I don’t really see any downside for anybody.”
January agreed — “I don’t want to give away the surprises,” he said. “ … It’s going to be better than your average night at the Cove.”
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