Supervision increases for Greek serenades


Senior Rick Rosas and his Zeta Chi fraternity brothers serenade his girlfriend senior Brittany Windom in front of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority as part of Greek serenades on Sept. 19. Photo courtesy Caitlin Hargrove.

Recent changes to Baker University’s traditional Greek homecoming serenades caused one Greek house to withdraw from this year’s activities that took place on Sept. 19. The Delta Tau Delta fraternity decided it would not participate in the fall serenades.

“There has been a trend in the past five years of serenade standards going down and (students) not really understanding the purpose of what serenades are for,” Assistant Director of Student Life Josh Doak said. “At some point, the purpose changed to just being loud and obnoxious and not representing the chapters the best that they should.”

Doak is in his first year at Baker. He said that one of his primary jobs is being a “liaison between (Greek) chapters and the university.” With his timing in accepting the position, Doak observed that most of his conversations with community members and administrators have been about changes that needed to be made for serenades.

“Students last year were, at some points, intoxicated, lyrics were inappropriate both ways – men singing to women, women singing to men,” Doak said. “Those were our issues that we had to correct.”

Some of the new rules enforced by Doak include a suit-and-tie dress code, lyric approval, no intoxication and an advisor being present during the event. The new regulations were put into effect and presented to Greek houses on Sept. 6.

When the time came for the Greek houses to submit their songs for approval on Sept. 12, the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity house members collectively agreed they would not submit anything.

Senior Andrew Dare, risk manager for Delta Tau Delta, took part in making the decision.

“I wouldn’t say we were trying to test the new rules or Josh Doak,” Dare said. “It was more of us looking out for ourselves, the house, and seeing how the new rules play out and just kind of seeing what happens for the other [Greek] houses.”

Dare added that it was “in the best interest” for the house not to participate this year. He believes that, in the future, Delta Tau Delta will consider participating in serenades in accordance with the new rules.

Lexi Weidman, a freshmen member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, said older members in the house told her that the “old serenades”were more fun and laid back.

“I don’t have a reference point to compare to,” Weidman said about her experience with serenades this year. “I wish all of the houses would have just come just to add to the fun.”

Despite Delta Tau Delta deciding not to participate, Weidman said she still enjoyed serenades and meeting all of the other fraternity chapter’s freshmen.

Any further changes to Baker’s serenade tradition are unclear. Doak said he appreciated and respected all those who chose, or did not choose, to be involved in serenades and hopes that every chapter can be on the same page for future serenades.

“My job is not to be against fraternity and sorority life,” Doak said. “My job is to help fraternity and sorority life be a positive experience.”

As of right now, the new serenade rules and regulations stand as is. But Doak said that as Greek life proves respect for the tradition, the guidelines might become less strict.