A cappella groups, Programming Board host non-Greek events

by Christine Paquin | 10/21/05 5:00am

While the Greek system remains this weekend's most visible social venue, there are various ways to experience Homecoming -- not all of which include waiting in massive lines to enter a fraternity. Whether students seek an option separate from the Greek houses or are simply in search of interesting events which add variety to a night of frat-hopping, Homecoming 2005 promises to include an assorted mix of entertainment.

Julia Baxter '06, president of the Subtleties, encourages students to attend events like the Fall Fling a cappella performances during Homecoming.

"A cappella is such an integral part of life at Dartmouth," Baxter said. "The groups all take this opportunity very seriously, so if you come you're likely to see a really fantastic performance: the best songs, fun outfits, skits and choreography."

Each term, Dartmouth performing groups put on a large show in Spaulding Auditorium. A cappella groups audition for the coveted spots, competing for a chance to participate in Fall Fling, Winter Wingding and Spring Sing.

Commonly referred to as "Fling" on campus, the show during Homecoming, features three a cappella groups -- Final Cut, the Subtleties, and Yale's Proof of Pudding.

According to Baxter, the show does not have to serve as an alternative to partying at the fraternities, but is rather a kick-off to the evening.

"It's at 8 p.m. on the Saturday of Homecoming, so you'll already be exhausted enough from Wednesday through Friday to start off your night in a respectable, low-key, but entertaining way," she said.

For those ambivalent about a cappella, the Programming Board sponsors a variety of events taking place throughout Homecoming Weekend.

This year's Programming Board agenda includes Willy Wonka night, a swing dance and a pizza party. There will even be a tent in front of Alumni Hall on Friday night offering free food to freshman in search of sustenance before embarking on the infamous bonfire run.

Sebastian Restrepo '07, Programming Board's senior chair, said these activities, while not planned with the express purpose of replacing the fraternity parties, are casual and fun ways for students to meet up.

"I personally do not think of PB events as alternatives to the frats. It's not that you have to come to these things or go to the frats; you can do both," Restrepo said. "It's just such a good way to cross paths with people and really connect."

The Willy Wonka event, held after the bonfire run, will include a chocolate fountain, a lollipop chandelier, a bubble machine, costumes, props, party favors, and Wonka coins for prizes. The pizza party will offer free pizza from EBAs and Ramuntos.

Restrepo said that these events are meant to be flexible and designed to accommodate all students, including those on their way to and from various parties.

"People are scattered around during Homecoming weekend, so its just a good meeting location if you're hungry or want to meet up with people in a central location," he said. "These events are fluid--come in, come out."

"Willy Wonka Night" will be held in Collis Common Ground on Friday, starting when the bonfire ends. "PizzaFest" is taking place outside the Rockefeller Center on Saturday. That same night will also see an alumni-student swing dance from 9-12 p.m. at the Top of the Hop and Alumni Hall. Final Cut, the Subtleties, and Proof of Pudding will perform in Spaulding Auditorium at 8 p.m.

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