The University of Richmond fraternity row looked reminiscent of Festivus on Saturday afternoon, as students threw Frisbees, tossed footballs and fired up the grills to tailgate the basketball game.
Four lodges were open on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. before the Richmond basketball game against the University of Charlotte.
Richmond Student Activities and Greek Life coordinated the event. The school gave fraternities the opportunity to open their lodges during the day to promote the basketball game and get more students to attend the game, said Jana Ross, assistant athletic director of marketing and communications and fan development.
"This is an idea we have been working on for quite some time," Ross said. "It is an idea to create a fun event around basketball and to encourage more students to come out to basketball games."
Junior Hakan Oztap said he thought it was a great idea to open the lodges on a Saturday afternoon.
"The sky is blue and it's a nice day out," Oztap said. "This is a great way to get students out of the dorms on a weekend afternoon."
But Oztap said he would not be attending the basketball game. In fact, many students had no intention of going to the game after the lodges closed.
"I'll probably go to the game," junior Chris Lucas said. "But I doubt how much of a difference this will make for student attendance at the game."
This weekend, fraternities could only register for one lodge party, either Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening, said Joe Cutrona, treasurer of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity. Although he liked the idea of opening the lodge during the afternoon, Cutrona felt coerced from the school administration since the fraternities had only two options for lodge parties this weekend, he said.
The school intends to have more of these events in the future, Ross said.
"We think this is something that the students really enjoy," Ross said. "And something that with the help of the student life and Greek life offices, we can continue to do for several basketball games next year."
In addition to FIJI, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon and the Kappa Alpha Order participated in the event.
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Rumors circulated that the event was coordinated to help prepare the school and administration for the 2010 football season, when the new on-campus stadium will host all games.
But Ross said the idea had nothing to do with the on-campus stadium. But she added, "All events we have can help us learn how things will operate in 2010, when we do have football games here."
Contact reporter Nick Mider at email@example.com
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