A black-tie tradition dating back to 1918, Alpha Delta Phi’s Victory Club will again offer Cornellians a chance to help a local charity while mingling amidst a mix of alcohol, gambling and live blues music this weekend. This year, however, the engagement that was once hailed by Playboy magazine as “the classiest party in the Ivy League,” stands out for another reason: it is the only professionally catered fraternity function of the semester.
Traditionally Cornell’s Greek houses have been required to hire a third-party provider who would charge a fee to ID students and serve alcohol at social events. However, the past year has brought sweeping changes to the Interfraternity Council’s social policies including BYOB and brother-monitored catering. As a result the number of professionally catered parties on campus has decreased significantly over the past year.
“In the past obviously that was the only way to go,” said Victory Club organizer Sebastian Collela ’05 of the catering.
This year, catering appeared to be the only viable choice for the organizers. Whereas options such as BYOB and brother catered parties offer fraternities less expensive options for organizing parties, these methods also limit the variety of alcohol that may be served.
“Under the other options, we wouldn’t have been able to serve cocktails,” social chair Adam Weg ’06 explained. “That’s one of the main reasons why we decided to go catered.”
According to Weg, the new and more restrictive catering process was conceived after numerous meetings with local police officials and University administration members. The revised catering system requires event organizers to comply with several additional regulations, among them tighter ID and alcohol restrictions.
“They wanted to try to have the catering system work,” Weg said. “We were the guinea pigs, and if things go well, we’ll be the model for catering at Cornell.”
The catering process isn’t the only change for the 86-year old event. Guests this year can also look forward to better gaming tables and more professional dealers. Complimentary limousine rides home, something that has been done in the past, will also be offered again.
Still, the event organizers insist the main draw is the atmosphere.
“Once people step in the door, they’ll feel like they’re in the 50s,” Collela said. “It’s really breathtaking.”
Originally conceived to sell victory bonds, Victory Club remains a philanthropic event, with this year’s proceeds going to the Greater Ithaca Activities Center.
“We’re really excited because we’re hoping to make a huge impact on it,” said Collela.
Tickets for the event may be purchased at the Straight or from any Alpha Delta Phi brother. Cornell card is accepted.
Archived article by Matthew Janiga
Sun Senior Editor