March 12, 2007

Pledges Compete In IFC Olympics

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New members of the Greek system devoured whipped cream pies, played tug of war and competed in a fierce basketball tournament at the Interfraternity Council New Member Olympics last Thursday.

The second annual IFC New Member Olympics were held in Barton Hall to promote interaction among members of the Interfraternity Council.

Eighteen chapters participated in the event. The winning team received a trophy that will be passed on from the winning house each year. Sigma Nu came in first place, followed by Phi Kappa Psi in second place and Pi Kappa Alpha in third.

Ryan Lavin ’09, current vice president of programming for the IFC, ran the event and encouraged all new members to compete in both the athletic and non-athletic events.

“The Olympics allowed new members of Cornell’s many fraternities to get a taste of our nationally renowned Greek system,” Lavin said.

There were approximately 250 new members in attendance.

“These men are all going through pledge process with their individual chapters, but we wanted to give them a sense of the strength and unity of the Greek community as a whole,” Lavin said.

“Everyone seemed to have such high Greek enthusiasm at the event,” Lavin added. “There was definitely an increase in popularity this year, especially because of the new events we had, including a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, tug-of-war, a pie eating contest and a 4-by-200-meter relay.”

The event was initiated by Lance Polivy ’08, the former vice president of programming and current executive vice president of the IFC.

“The whole IFC board was there to help out and it gave them an opportunity to meet us. We had fun and we hope the new members did too,” Lavin said.

This year Polivy was a supervisor and referee for many of the games. He also helped Lavin increase new member participation.

“Ryan took something that worked well last year and found ways to make it better this year. He was creative in his vision of what he wanted the event to look like,” Polivy said.

One change from the first Olympic tournament included a committee with one representative from each participating fraternity that met to discuss which events they wanted to include in the Olympics.

“Every house had a stake in which events would be at the Olympics, which I think definitely helped to increase participation. For example, if one of your pledge brothers was part of the team that created the event, it would be easy to recruit them to come out and play,” Polivy said.

The newest addition was the pie-eating contest.

“The kids went crazy over this one. We saw guys coming up with whipped cream all over the place and they just had a blast. The only thing we need to improve for next year is more napkins,” Polivy said.