Splash Into SOCO

Escaping Finals with a Weekend Filled with Music and Fun

Our school’s annual SOCO concert will be held May 5th and 6th and will continue the two day event format that was tested out last year. This year, Residence Life and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) have planned a small change to add to the event. SOCO Splash, a daytime event centered on waterslides, will be held on the fraternity row to help make all of the activities of the day more fluid.

“Previously, SOCO Splash, which was introduced last year, was on the Residence Quad,” Allen Doyle, the IFC president, said. “[We thought that] the attendance of both would go up if it was at the same location. We didn’t want to split up the crowd.”

By adding the location of fraternity row to the event, there is now the opportunity to have band parties with live music to help amp up the atmosphere. Residence Life and IFC hope to bring the two interests in music and outdoor water activities together to appeal to more students.

“I’m super into water, slides, music, friends, [and] food,” Doyle said. “It’s my five favorite things all in the same place.”

Photo via Avery Bottom

Photo via Avery Bottom

The concert itself is being put on by the Quest II director of concerts Clayton Crawford and assistant director Divya Desai. Beyond the responsibilities of logistics and budgeting, the well-known role of director is choosing the artists that will perform.

“I know a lot of people wonder why we get certain artists,” Crawford said. “It all depends on who is available, who fits our pretty-small-for-a-concert budget, and, probably worst of all, what administration will allow us to do.”

Even though this is a show for college-aged students, artists are still expected to do a clean show because they are being paid and sponsored by a Methodist-affiliated school. This, along with a modest budget, limits who can be brought to campus.

“We had an artist that I really wanted, and it seemed like a lot of people really wanted, but, when we floated [his] name past administration, there were reservations about some of the themes,” Crawford said. “The shows are supposed to be PG-13/radio friendly, and a lot of music that’s really popular with people at our school doesn’t fit that bill. That’s probably the hardest obstacle to overcome.”

This need to fit certain requirements already puts a strain on the possibility of musical acts that are allowed to come to campus. Beyond these limitations, the concert directors have to find artists that will please the majority of students. The new structure of making SOCO a two day event offers the ability to have two different groups to appease the musical tastes of those who prefer either DJ or live music.

“We are trying to book different genres and not just target one audience,” Desai said. “It’s really important to try to include everyone on campus.”

These two artists, along with the bands that will perform during SOCO Splash, will offer something for every student. While the artists themselves have not been released at this time, Quest II promises that they have been deliberate in choosing groups that will make this year’s event enjoyable to all.

“We’ve worked really hard,” Desai said. “It would be awesome if we could have a big turnout for SOCO.”

Feature photo via Trinity Kubassek

Stepping Up

APA Joins BSC Greek Life

The Tau Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha joins the Birmingham-Southern Greek community this semester, as IFC voted to allow them to join our school’s council. Chartered April 12, 2000 at Samford, the chapter opened up to the city in 2004, and it welcomed its first BSC student in 2005. Now, as an official member of Birmingham-Southern’s Interfraternity Council, they are opening up their annual Unity Step Show to chapters from the hilltop.

John Banks, the chapter president, said "Our step show is for everybody. People assume it’s just for the sororities to do, but we love when the fraternities get involved."

The Unity Step Show, now on its 5th year, is the chapter’s philanthropic event, which helps raise money for the March of Dimes. In past years, the show has raised over $500, last year raising $750. The event attracts organizations from both campuses. This year, 5 organizations from Samford and 3 from Birmingham-Southern have signed up to perform.

"I hear a lot of people say they’re afraid to dance or can’t dance," Banks said. "[But] it’s kind of a different world. It really is a lot of fun. Historically, it’s making sure we, as Alphas, do what we’re supposed to do and be servants to all."

Rooted in Greek singing competitions from the 70s and traditional African dances like the Gumboot dance, step shows have transformed into complex and entertaining showcases of Greek organizations’ dancing skills.

The step show, which will take place April 20th at Seibert Gym on Samford’s campus, is not the only thing Alpha Phi Alpha has planned. “We’ve already started to look at an Alpha week in the fall,” Banks said. “A week of different events; social, philanthropy, and service.”

Alpha week typically includes events like Stroll Like an Alpha, a step show featuring moves specific to different Divine 9 fraternities, and events designed to bring awareness to the March of Dimes. The chapter is looking to expand its role on campus by providing a new opportunity for students to go Greek as it expands into a more permanent place here on the Hilltop.

The Tau Iota chapter welcomes all BSC students to come see the event at Samford’s Seibert Gym on April 20th at 7 pm and encourages anyone interested in the fraternity to contact John Banks, Chapter President, at jlbanks@bsc.edu.

All photos via John Banks