With the end of the semester coming to a close and finals week rapidly approaching, the Greek community still had one thing to look forward to: Greek Week.
Greek Week is a weeklong celebration for students who are members of fraternities or sororities. Each day is filled with games and competitions, many of which are taken very seriously.
“It’s very similar to field day in elementary school,” said Blair Kim, a first-year Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major who is also a brother of Delta Chi.
On Sunday, the Greek community participated in Tug, a hardcore form of the simple game of tug-of-war. Training for this event begins several months before Greek Week occurs.
Tug takes place in a man-made mud pit filled with waist-high water. The first team to be pulled into the middle and deepest part of the pit loses.
Teams are required to have a certain weight limit, and each team only consists of about 14 members. Weigh-ins took place the day before Tug at Lambda Chi Alpha. All Greek tuggers were expected to strip down and stand on a scale to determine their team average.
“The competition style is much like March Madness in which there [are] two sides of a bracket…the winning teams from each side…[compete] for the championship at the end,” Kim said.
Kim began training for Tug by attending several practices a week from January until April. Practices were usually held in a sand volleyball court, similar to the ones behind the SAC fields.
The team did some simple stretches and exercises such as push-ups and running drills. Kim also practiced by pulling on a rope while it was attached to an immovable post for several minutes at a time. He learned to tie a wet towel around the rope so that it would not slip off the rope when he threw his weight against it.
“The towel served several purposes. First, it was used as a cushion against the rope because holding the rope by itself is quite painful on the hands. Second, it allowed me to take [the] tension from gripping the rope off of my hands and use my upper body strength and weight to push the rope. Third, it served as a grip for the rope so that it wouldn’t slip when the rope was moving,” Kim said.
The ability to tie the towel is one of the most important parts of tug. A poorly tied towel will not help the tugger exert any force on the rope because it will slip before the tugger can grip it.
“Occasionally another fraternity or sorority would challenge us to a scrimmage before [the event] to practice against each other. We scrimmaged against Alpha Delta Chi and Alpha Epsilon Pi,” Kim said.
The scrimmages took place in the sand and caused the tuggers to lose footing during pulling. This was similar to what the tuggers would experience in the mud pit on the day of the actual event.
In addition to team practices, Kim was expected to work out every day on his own to lose fat and to begin to build body muscle.
“There were certain foods I knew I was supposed to avoid which would generally detriment my fitness, although I didn’t always avoid them,” Kim said.
“To train for tug, our coaches put us through some grueling workouts including 35-minute wall sits and running up and down the stairs in the CRC,” said Kelly Stiegel, a first-year EAS major and Alpha Gamma Delta who was unable to participate in Tug because of last minute injuries.
“We bulked up a lot and were pretty intimidating by the time tug came around. It was a lot of hard work but it really brought my sisters and me together…it’s true that if you sweat together you grow together,” Stiegel said.
At the event last Sunday, April 6, Tau Kappa Epsilon emerged victorious as the winners for the fraternity division and Alpha Xi Delta won first place among the competing sororities.