By Meghan Hendrickson
Pledges have earned their fraternity letters, but Saturday they will band together as brothers in an attempt to earn their championship trophy.
The Baylor Interfraternity Council is hosting its first New Member Flag Football Tournament at Edgefield, located on Bagby Avenue across from the Baylor Sciences Building.
New members from eight of the 12 council fraternity chapters will play in the tournament, but any Baylor students can attend.
The games will begin at noon, and free food and drinks will be served at 12:30 p.m.
“The tournament is a single-elimination set-up,” Houston sophomore Javier Vargas, IFC external vice president, said. “Each game will last roughly 25 minutes.”
Each team is made up of 14 members, and seven will play at a time, he said. The last two teams standing will compete for the championship at 4:30 p.m.
Vargas said he and the IFC hope the tournament will become a Baylor tradition, since it is a great way to welcome new fraternity members.
“This will be the first thing they do as a new pledge class, so we hope it will help develop a sense of camaraderie as they begin their years as part of the Greek community at Baylor,” Vargas said.
Houston junior T.J. Partida, IFC president, said he is thrilled to have the event for new members to both bond and compete with the new members from other fraternities.
“The tournament is a unique opportunity to bring IFC fraternities together in a manner different than a tailgate,” Partida said. “One of the purposes of IFC is to foster unity among its chapters, but we were looking for various ways to do so, and the tournament is one of those ways.”
Tournament champions will have their chapter’s name and the year engraved on a plaque to adorn the championship trophy.
Each winning team member will also receive a T-shirt commemorating the championship.
The shirt, trophy and a photo of the team will all be displayed in the Bill Daniel Student Center for the two weeks following spring break while the IFC works to finish creating a permanent display for all Greek-related activities.
Austin freshman Adam Hill, a new member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the tournament will be a good way to meet guys in other fraternities and to create memories with brothers.
“I think this tournament is important because it expands the friendships of new members beyond just their individual fraternity,” Hill said.
“It gives them the chance to see other guys have the same interests as them, and [it] helps place them in a situation where [competition] with those outside of your fraternity is acceptable,” Hill said.
Hill believes students should attend the tournament because school spirit is vital to any thriving campus activity.
“This is a great time to go to Baylor, and [students] supporting as many events as possible just keeps the ball rolling,” Hill said.
Laura Whitmire, graduate school assistant for Greek life and IFC adviser, shared Hill’s sentiment.
She said she hopes students will make an effort to attend the tournament and stay through the championship game.
“The council has worked really hard to put it together,” Whitmire said.
Frisco junior Brantley Carroll, IFC vice president of activities, came up with the idea for the new member tournament.
“I think it can become a tradition because there really isn’t any event for the new members,” Carroll said.
“This gives them a chance to compete against their peers right after they get done with pledging.”