Campus fraternities do battle for good cause
By Alex Byers
It’s hard to argue that anything but basketball is the most popular sport on the GW campus. But while it’s the Colonial men’s and women’s basketball teams that usually grab the spotlight on basketball-related activities, GW’s Greek community got to take center stage on the court Wednesday.
The GW chapters of the Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternities tipped off on the third floor of the Lerner Health and Wellness Center Wednesday evening, commencing the first installment of what is to be a yearly tangle known as the “Pike vs. SigEp charity basketball showdown.” Billed as part athletics event and part philanthropic affair, the sometimes-rival fraternities organized the evening to raise money for the Downtown D.C. Boys and Girls Club.
Mike Rossetti, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s vice president of programming and co-organizer of the evening, offered insight into the value of the event.
“Rarely do you see two fraternities getting together, and I think that no matter what the outcome of the game was, what we did here today was come together for charity and show good spirit,” he said.
The showdown brought out a significant number of both Greek and non-Greek students, as both the court level and mezzanine viewing sections were packed and loud in support of at least one of the two teams. And while the noisy and dedicated crowd surely hoped to see some entertaining basketball, fans may have gotten more than they bargained for as the game evolved into an overtime affair.
Sigma Phi Epsilon squeaked out the extra-time victory 51-49 over Pi Kappa Alpha, with each squad showing the crowd some crafty basketball skills at one point or another. While Sigma Phi Epsilon stormed out to a double-digit lead at halftime and continued its dominance through to the end of the third quarter, Pi Kappa Alpha displayed its own perseverance, recovering from an 11-point deficit to even the game to 46 at the end of regulation.
The two teams traded possessions for a majority of the second half, but with Pi Kappa Alpha ahead 49-48 with just a few minutes remaining, Sigma Phi Epsilon scored the game’s three final points to take home victory.
Pi Kappa Alpha President John Galmiche said that support from both male and female Greek students, as well as independents, helped the evening realize its potential and exemplify the true spirit of Greek life.
“The support shown from the Greek community, both sororities and fraternities, is a testament to what Greek life should be,” Galmiche said. “It’s when two groups, that some consider enemies, put their heads together for a great cause.”
GW’s dance and cheer squads also lent their support to the event. The Cheer Team provided on-site cheerleading with makeshift uniforms for Sigma Phi Epsilon, while GW’s “First Ladies” dance team organized a halftime show, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.
Though Rossetti said that the two fraternities have had their differences in the past, he maintained that the ability to work together for a positive cause is a quality that both fraternities possess.
“There are a lot of guys that we like in (Pi Kappa Alpha), and I think they get along with us as well. I think we’ve come to realize that working together, we can achieve a lot,” he said.
Galmiche added while it was Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon that put on a show for all to see Wednesday, the well-supported philanthropic event was a demonstration
of the importance of all GW Greek organizations.