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Freshmen face off, raise $13K in ‘Hall Wars’
Hundreds of freshmen played volleyball, kickball, and soccer games and jousted like gladiators on the quad Saturday as part of “Hall Wars,” a fundraiser organized by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to benefit the American Cancer Society.
The purpose of Halls Wars is “to have a fun and active, alcohol-free environment for freshmen, to promote community-bonding and to raise money for a great cause,” said Andy Turczak, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon and the main organizer of the event.
The day-long series of athletic competition raised more than $13,000, he said.
The fraternity came upon its idea for Hall Wars as a means to foster amiable relations among Greek life participants at Quinnipiac University and the rest of the university community, he said.
Hall Wars began last year and was modeled after a similar such event put on by fraternity members at Duke University in North Carolina, he said.
“We want to break the stigma that sometimes exists between campus life and fraternities. Sometimes, fraternities are viewed as bad,” Turczak said. “We want to break that perception.”
The friendly competition consisted of 33 teams, each of which had between 10 and 15 members. Teams consisted of residents of individual floors of the four freshmen residence halls: Dana, Commons, Irma and Ledges.
The cost to participate in Hall Wars was $4 per person,a price that included a buffet-style lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies and soda. Additional money was raised through a raffle, which included such items as concert tickets, autographed baseballs, an iPod, a mini refrigerator, a stereo and a university parking space.
The activities of Hall Wars provided a “good way to get to know your hall, by getting it together as a team,” said Krysti Berghela, a freshman from Huntington, N.Y., while she and her teammates waited to play a soccer match.
Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon helped lead Hall Wars. They did such tasks as play music, prepare food, officiate games and answer students’ questions about the schedule of events. Additionally, employees and representatives of the Residential Hall Council, Chartwell’s Catering, QU Intramurals, the Student Programming Board, Residential Assistants and WQAQ worked in similar functions.
After finishing a spirited round of gladiator-style jousting, freshman Matt Stucko was congratulated by his teammates as he stepped off the inflatable platform and caught his breath.
“Hall Wars is pretty good. We all know we’re decent athletes; we all played sports in high school,” said Stucko, sprawling out along the grass, under a cobalt blue sky.
Pausing pensively, he added: “And it’s kind of opened up some kids who were quiet before.”
Dee Mastronardi, president of the Student Programming Board, spent the day working with other student leaders to facilitate a smooth transition between activities and to keep track of which jobs needed to be performed at any given moment.
“I’m just upset because I wish I could participate in the fun,” Mastronardi said, a smile encompassing her face. “And, it’s especially wonderful because it’s all for such a great cause.”
In the afternoon, musicians performed in the courtyard in front of the Complex residence hall. Among them was Christian Shaboo, a 2006 graduate of Quinnipiac University who heads a solo pop-rock band called “Hit the Ground Running.”
For Shaboo, who played cover songs such as Jimmy Eat World’s “In the Middle” as well as original songs such as one called “Peck on the Cheek,” the opportunity to perform in concert at his alma mater was a special occasion.
“It means a lot to come back to Quinnipiac, especially for such a great event as one to raise money to help in the fight against cancer,” Shaboo said. “And, seeing the togetherness of the new freshmen class is so great.”