By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
All-University Sing is one of Baylor’s most popular student events, and has been throughout much of its history. While almost every Greek organization participates, some choose to sit out.
All-University Sing began in 1953 and quickly grew in size and popularity over the next couple of years. Participation continued to rise with the introduction of Pigskin Revue in 1958, which gives the top eight acts from Sing the opportunity to perform during homecoming weekend. This year sees 19 groups take the stage for two weekends of performances.
Most of the groups participating in Sing are fraternities and sororities, but those aren’t the only groups allowed to compete. Any student group or club chartered by Baylor is eligible to register for one of the 20 available spaces, according to Cheryl Mathis, assistant director of campus programs.
“Participation in Sing is decided solely through each organization and their membership,” Mathis said. “Student organizations must be chartered and in good active status.”
Despite the enormous popularity, some Greek organizations and many other groups choose not to participate in Sing.
While Sing is very open with which groups are allowed to participate, the competitive aspect is strictly regulated. Everything from budgets to practice times to the amount of time allowed to set up the stage between acts must adhere to the official policies and procedures.
According to the policies for All-University Sing, one of these rules mandates that performing groups must consist of anywhere from 20 to 200 student performers. Individual performers also have minimum current and cumulative GPA requirements and must be full-time students. This may prevent smaller groups with fewer students from participating. Students who are not considered full members of their group, such as potential new members, are also not allowed to participate.
Another limiting factor for some groups is the high cost involved with putting together an act. According to the policies, Sing rules cap the budget for each group at $4,500 with a $500 waiver if a group needs to rent a venue to practice. This figure excludes costumes, which are required to be $110 or less per costume.
Robinson junior, Emma Hansen, performing with Chi Omega, welcomes the idea of more organizations getting involved in Sing, but admits that the cost could be a barrier.
“I think it would be great if more organizations outside of Greek life wanted to participate,” Hansen said. “Sing is a really popular Baylor tradition and there’s no reason, aside from financially, that other organizations shouldn’t get involved if they wanted to.”
For groups without the money to fund a production, the Student Productions Committee offers applications for a $4,500 grant.