Banner-painting, T-shirt signing, student-kidnapping, and auctioning off of fraternity boys.
Welcome to Derby Days.
Each year, the Sigma Chi fraternity hosts a week-long philanthropy event known as Derby Days. Students compete as a Greek house for points in various competitive events, designed to raise money for a chosen organization.
This year, Sigma Chi hosted six events, beginning with a banner painting competition and “Sign-A-Sig,” in which sorority members chased down five Sigma Chis equipped with markers and dressed in white shirts. Each Sigma Chi was worth a different number of “points,” and the sorority with the most points gained by signing shirts won.
“It’s just all the guys running around all day, trying not to get signed,” said Derby Days Chairman senior Tim Jagielski, who was worth six points.
On Wednesday, Sigma Chi raised money by allowing people to bid on members to perform various tasks.
The Jail and Bail event occurred the next day: for $1 each, students signed up someone to be “kidnapped” and held in Sigma Chi until they could pay the $2 bail. Until then, prisoners were treated to cider and cupcakes on the Sigma Chi porch – in total, more than 350 were incarcerated.
“We decorated it all out with Christmas lights and stuff – it was a lot of fun,” Jagielski said.
Up until this point, the race for points was close. But finally came the Mock Rock dance competition, judged by Hillsdale staff and house moms.
“All the girls put together amazing dances,” Jagielski said, but in the end, the win was given to the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity, and with that the victory for the week’s competition. To thank the participants, the Sigma Chis put together and performed their own dance.
“It was really fun – that’s what’s most important, that everyone had a lot of fun,” senior Margaret Ball said, “and I think it went really well this year in that respect.”
Ball served as “Derby Dolly” for Kappa.
The proceeds from Derby Days – more than $3,200 – are being donated to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Health Clinic, a local organization that offers health care services to those without insurance.
“Last year we raised a little more money,” said Jagielski, who served as “Derby Daddy” for the week. “But this year, we raised a good amount of money and had a lot more fun.”
Enthusiasm was at an all-time high, particularly for the week-long penny war, Jagielski said. “We had over $400 in pennies, and the bank started refusing to take them,” he said. (45)