Sorority women bow out of Crossover day tradition
What do crazy costumes, drinking at 6 a.m. and Greek life all have in common? Well, not that much. At least, not anymore. This year the notorious Crossover day traditionally attended by all members of the Greek community is undergoing substantial changes. Women will no longer be allowed to participate in the “celebration” of the gentlemen pledges when they chose their house.
This deviates from past years, when women of the four sororities at Puget Sound were welcomed by the fraternities to cheer them on.
The origin of traditional Crossover began many years ago and the men would literally cross over Union Avenue to their respective houses. However, this tradition proved increasingly dangerous as some fraternity members were injured by passing cars.
Since then, the tradition of Crossover day has included sorority women. Sisters of all Greek houses dressed up in clothing that led them to risk frostbite due to freezing temperatures in the wee hours of the morning in Tacoma.
The day is dreaded by some non-Greek students on campus as they are often bombarded by both the brothers and sisters who frequent the SUB in large numbers after their morning activities.
Panhellenic President Jessica Cafferty, Interfraternity President Alex Gardner and Assistant Director of Greek Life Moe Stephens contributed to the change in this year’s Crossover day.
Although there were external pressures from faculty and staff to modify the event, the expressed need to change the custom also came from within the Greek community.
Crossover is typically stereotyped as a day of buffoonery; Members of the Greek community publicly run around Peyton field for not only the entire campus to see, but the surrounding local community.
Certain members of the Greek community felt like Crossover tarnished the experience for the men on their bid day. The women are given a bid day the previous week, and the men wanted to recapture a day that they could celebrate separately.
Not all members of the Greek community have gotten onboard with the changes.
There have been complaints among some sorority members who enjoyed the tradition of Crossover and did not want to see the end of an event that they looked forward to each year.
Presidents Gardner and Cafferty met with all of the Greek houses to explain why the change was occurring and told sorority women to not show up for Saturday morning Crossover celebrations.
“We do not become Greek just to participate in Crossover. Hopefully, most people join for the community service and/or bother/sisterhood aspect of it,” Cafferty said.
New member sorority pledges for this year are much higher than average.
40 percent of females in the Puget Sound class of 2014 pledged to a sorority house. In years past, the pledge class averaged 25 percent.
Gardner reported that Crossover day was a success, and the men had an enjoyable time.
They have not yet had any complaints from members of the Puget Sound or residential communities.
Garder also expressed the sentiment that the success of this year’s Crossover day was in large part due to the positive attitude the active members displayed.
And since new member pledges did not know what Crossover day was like in the past, this new, safer tradition was easily adopted by the class of 2014.
[PHOTO COURTESY / GREG NISSEN]