“It’s Sweet to be a Cougar” was the theme for College of Charleston’s Homecoming 2014 last week, and the members of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity certainly embraced this motto.
Each year, the College of Charleston’s Homecoming Committee plans a week of events and competitions leading up to the Homecoming basketball game. These events include a banner competition, campaigning for Homecoming royalty, and a service project, and allow student organizations to compete with one another to prove which group is the most spirited. The organization that accumulates the most spirit points throughout the week gets its name engraved on the Spirit Cup, which is put on display in the lobby of the Stern Student Center.
This year’s Spirit Cup went to Beta Theta Pi. “We participated in every event except for the tailgate and service event,” Beta’s Vice President of Communications Pat Mitchell said. “Ultimately winning the Spirit Cup came down to the Homecoming court, where three of our four nominees made it to the Court and ultimately won for the Prince, King and Queen categories.” Nick Tipling was crowned Homecoming King, Vaughn Postema won Homecoming Queen, and Jake Tucker was named Homecoming Prince. Having two brothers as well as Postema, a member of Zeta Phi Beta whom Beta nominated for Queen, named to the Homecoming Court gave Beta an additional 100 points, which ultimately allowed them to win the Spirit Cup.
Beta Theta Pi is the oldest fraternity in the U.S., but College of Charleston’s chapter is relatively new, having been established in Fall 2012. The fraternity is focused around what President Zack Waldman deemed a “back to basics” approach which primarily values brotherhood, and strives to develop “men of principle” through the fraternity’s five core values. Waldman stated that Beta is a fraternity that does not haze and does not discriminate. “We are one hundred percent brotherhood,” added Tipling.
According to Mitchell, Homecoming brought the fraternity “closer together as a team and a brotherhood as we included ourselves in something outside of Greek Life and involving ourselves more with the welfare and spirit of the school itself.”
Tipling said that although Beta did participate in several of the Homecoming events, he felt he and his brothers “weren’t as involved as we would have liked to be.” He said that he did not feel Homecoming brought the fraternity closer together as did other events this year such as Anchor Splash and Pep Supper, and stated he “would like to see more competition” during Homecoming in the future.
“We’re a really new fraternity and are trying to get our name out there,” said Jake Tucker. He felt that Beta coming together for Homecoming and winning the Spirit Cup was helpful to them in garnering more publicity, as well as growing closer as a fraternity. “Everyone helps, everyone pitches in,” he added. “It’s uplifting.”
Mitchell and the communications committee played a large role in the planning of Beta’s participation in the Homecoming activities, according to Waldman. Mentioning Beta’s Candyland-themed banner for the banner contest, Waldman said, “Pat Mitchell personally spent hours on that.” Mitchell admitted, “Planning this year’s Homecoming for Beta took some hard work and persistence…it was my job to get my brothers involved and help facilitate showing our fraternity’s Cougar pride. That hard work and persistence evidently paid off for this year’s winners of the Spirit Cup.