|ISU Greeks dance for charity in March Madness competition|
|Written by Kristen Bahler, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 26 March 2009 18:00|
While the excessive press coverage that is March Madness means basketball overkill for some and heaven for others, the ISU Greek community has attached an entirely different connotation to this time of year.
This Saturday, nearly every fraternity and sorority house on campus will participate in Chi Omega's 33rd annual March Madness dance competition, and like those in the NCAA, they will not go down without a fight.
"March Madness is Chi Omega's annual philanthropy," Rachel McCollam, the March Madness chair for the sorority, said. "It's an all Greek dance competition where campus-wide fraternities and sororities compete for first, second and third place. All proceeds from the event go the Make a Wish Foundation."
Kristi Mazzuca, a member of Tri Delta, said her house, along with the rest of the fraternities and sororities on campus, take the competition seriously.
"There's a rivalry between the houses," she said. "Houses do place so people get really into it. There's some comedy to keep it light hearted, but the main purpose is to raise money . it becomes important because you practice a lot for it."
According to McCollam, the houses put a considerable amount of effort into the March Madness yearly event. "Some fraternities dance just for humor, but the majority of them take it more seriously than the sororities," she said. "It's amazing to see how hard they work and how amazing their dances are."
Though the winner does not receive a prize of any monetary value, most compete simply for the opportunity to defeat rival houses.
"The winning fraternity and sorority win a trophy and bragging rights for a year," McCollam said. "The judges this year consist of two radio personalities from WBNQ, a member of a national dance team, an ISU alumnus from 1995, a choreographer and a member of the ISU faculty."
Mazzuca said because she is student teaching this semester, she was not able to practice her sorority's routine and thus will only be watching the competition this year.
"I'm going to miss it, but I'm excited to see it in a different way," she said. "I get to watch the whole thing and not participate."
When asked to what extent each house gets involved, Mazzuca replied, "It's different for each house. Some make it mandatory and others don't. My house, for example, has well over 60 girls doing it . not every single [house] on campus participates. One house that hasn't done it since I've been here (Tri Sigma) is doing it this year for the first time in a while."
Because Sigma Tau Gamma and Zeta Tau Alpha tied for first place last year, the rest of the Greek community will be gunning to snatch that title away from them. According to Mazzuca, some houses even hire choreographers for the event, and the entire competition will be videotaped.
"Chi Omega will have a DVD that you can buy a few weeks after March Madness. The money for that goes towards the Make a Wish Foundation also."
Tickets for the March Madness dance competition can be bought at the Bone Student Center Box Office. Donations may be sent to Chi Omega, c/o Philanthropy Chair, 1006 N. School Street.
"Chi Omega truly appreciates the support our event get[s] from the community, the ISU Greek community, Greek affairs, and the Braden Auditorium each year," McCollam said.