November 15, 2002

Victory Club Called Off Due to Complications

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Cornellians looking forward to Alpha Delta Phi’s Victory Club Charity Ball this semester will need to wait until the spring to dress in their black tie best and gamble for a good cause. Victory Club — the famed bi-annual Alpha Delta Phi party which was to be held on November 16 this year — was cancelled due to many issues that arose in planning.

“We had issues with the venue. We were not able to hold the party in the usual manner. We were working with various groups and we couldn’t put it together like we wanted to this semester. The fact that these problems arose so close to the date, the organizers decided to postpone it,” said Victory Club co-director George Doerre ’04.

Some of these problems included issues with the Alpha Delta Phi house, where the party is traditionally held.

“They have some fire alarm problems and were not allowed to have alcohol at the party. Not allowing alcohol at charity events such as this is a Cornell rule,” said Raymond Wheaton, assistant chief of the Ithaca Fire Department.

The Victory Club party stands alone among college parties for its decadence. Unlike the typical college party, Victory Club has champagne, legalized gambling and music. Men don tuxedoes and women wear dresses. All of these things contribute to what Playboy magazine once called the greatest party in the Ivy League.

However, this semester the party would not have been able to serve alcohol, one of the factors in the decision to postpone it.

“This semester the reasons for not serving alcohol are unrelated to previous Victory Clubs. These reasons had to do with the venue and issues with the policies surrounding alcohol that we need to resolve. In the past we have been able to serve alcohol in a licensed and legal way and we hope to again in the spring,” Doerre said. “However the presence of alcohol is not the main or even secondary attraction of Victory Club.”

Though the party is a bi-annual event, the fall Victory Club has historically been a smaller event than the spring party. This is also not the first time that the party has been cancelled. In 1999, the party was cancelled due to organizational problems.

Though the planning committee of Victory Club consists of many members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, the two bodies are completely separate and independent for legal reasons. The fraternity does not pay for the Victory Club party.

“Victory Club is responsible for its own books, the fraternity did not invest any money in it at this point,” Doerre said.

Upon hearing the news of the cancellation, some students were surprised. “I was really disappointed that it was cancelled. I had a great time last year. It raises money for a really good cause,” said Cathy Carswell ’03, who attended the Victory Club party last spring.

As the Victory Club is a charity event, the money raised for this event was supposed to go to the Ithaca chapter of Concerned of Police Survivors (COPS), an organization that provides counseling and financial support to families of injured or fallen police officers. Although a decision as to which charity to support for the spring Victory Club has yet to be made, party organizers may decide to support COPS again.

“It is an important time to support police officers with September 11 and especially at Cornell with the stress Cornell has placed on them this year with Collegetown,” Doerre said.

According to Alpha Delta Phi legend, the Victory Club tradition dates back to 1918, when fraternity brothers organized the first Victory Club to raise money for a Victory Loan drive during World War I. Admission to the party was obtained through the purchase of allied Victory war bonds. Through the years, planning Victory Club has provided Alpha Delta Phi members with real life entrepreneurial experience and responsibility.

Organizers of Victory Club are ready to make the spring party great.

“We are already looking forward to the next semester,” Doerre said.

Archived article by Erica Temel