Fraternity members reunite students with annual tradition

By Maya Butler | Reporter

Hot Texas weather didn’t stop students from gathering to celebrate the new school year.

Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and the Black Student Union hosted the second annual Baylor Family Reunion event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bear Park near Fountain Mall. This was the fraternity’s second time hosting the event (last year’s rainy weather prevented them from doing so). The event consisted of lively music, fun games and free food from restaurants such as Sascees, McAlister’s and Papa John’s.

Houston senior Louis Rodriguez, vice president of Phi Beta Sigma, said they host the event to bring students together.

“It’s called a ‘family reunion’ because we want to welcome everybody back to campus,” Rodriguez said. “You know, first week of classes are kind of stressful and [we want to] give everyone a nice environment to come out.”

Dallas senior Eniya Richardson, who participated in the event, reflected on her reason for attending.

“I’m a part of the Baylor NAACP, and so most recently, we just won No. 1 chapter in the nation,” Richardson said. “So it kind of makes me feel like we work hard together and we’re able to play together at events like this like a true family.”

The event attracted not only current students, but also alumni.

San Diego native India Fordham is a member of Zeta Phi Beta, a sorority with close ties to Phi Beta Sigma — both were founded at Howard University in 1920 and 1914, respectively.

“I was also in the organization then, and it was pretty much like this family environment, atmosphere, with games and food and just a time to get together and really get to know each other,” Fordham said. “We don’t know the freshmen just yet, but we want to get them involved and [see] how they can get involved in the community but also our organizations.”

When Phi Beta Sigma was founded they sought to emphasize “a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service.”

“We want to showcase our brand, the Sigma brand, and show that we are a loving community here at Baylor, regardless of ethnicity,” Rodriguez said. “We welcome everybody, and just to show everybody the different cultures within Baylor.”

Atlanta senior John McDonald, president of Phi Beta Sigma, explained the importance of hosting such an event.

“There are a lot of people that are out of state,” McDonald said. “People have internships, classes, there’s a lot going on during the summer, so we want to give them a time for everyone to come together and hang out and just have a good time.”