Campus carboloads on Kappasta
March 30, 2007
Seven girls stand hunched around the cramped dining room table of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house. They all wear the same orange T-shirt, “What’s Cooking, Good Lookin’” emblazoned on the front, and are focused with single-minded intent on the task before them: the production of garlic bread. Each girl has a job — one slices the ironing board-sized loaves, one butters, one arranges the bread baskets and so on. But the butterer has a problem: her gallon container of butter is nearly empty, and it’s the last one.
p. “Does anyone have any butter they can donate?” she shouts across the room, too focused on the remaining bread to look up. Another orange-shirted girl who happens to be walking by, a plate of spaghetti in each hand, says she is on it and dashes in among the dozen girls, also in orange shirts, busying themselves in the kitchen. She emerges a few minutes later, carrying several bulging CostCo bags that weigh down her slight frame.
p. “Oh my gosh, I have your butter. I got these huge-ass tubs of butter,” she says cheerily as she hobbles across the room. This is Kappasta, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s spring philanthropy, which yesterday raised $2,100 for cervical cancer research. The pace may have been strenuous inside the sorority house, but outside on Sorority Field, where students dined picnic-style on spaghetti and garlic bread yesterday from 5 to 8 p.m., the pace was casual and the mood social.
p. “It might not be the best meal I’ve ever had,” junior Nora Devitt, the sorority’s philanthropy chair, conceded with a laugh. “I think it’s more about the company and the at-mosphere.” The atmosphere was warm and friendly — diners milled between the picnic tables, chatting casually with each other and with the endless stream of orange-shirted girls marching to and from the sorority house for more food.
p. The company, however, was somewhat limited. Devitt estimated that around 250 tickets were sold last year, 90 of which were to KKG sisters, who are required to buy a ticket. The majority of attendees were male, many of whom came in single-fraternity groups. One table consisted solely of brothers from Kappa Delta Rho, another of brothers from Sigma Pi. Regardless of gender or Greek affiliation, all in attendance seemed to have at least one or two friends among the orange shirts.
p. “I feel like everybody here knows someone [in Kappa Kappa Gamma],” said junior Janna Combs, who took tickets at the front of Sorority Field.
p. “A lot of these events don’t always include people who aren’t Greek,” Devitt acknowledged. She expressed disappointment that Kappasta does not typically attract a more diverse crowd, but said the sorority was trying to change that. “I invite friends who aren’t in a sorority or fraternity. We invite sports teams and different groups like that. We try to get the runners to come out and carboload.”
p. Devitt compared Kappasta to Kappa Delta’s Campus Golf philanthropy, which attracted over 1,000 participants last year. Although Kappasta does not draw as large a crowd, it is still a fun event for the sorority and it’s attendees. “We’re very social people,” she said. “We like partaking in [Kappasta] with them, with our friends.”
p. Devitt, whose cheery optimism and friendly attitude went unfazed by everything from spilled pasta to predictions of rain during the picnic, frowned only when asked about the image of her sorority on campus. “I hate the stereotypes,” she said. “There are stereotypes about everybody.” Devitt cited the size of KKG, one of the College’s largest sororities at 90-strong. “It’s a huge range. The stereotypes are going to fit some of us.”
p. The things that make the girls of KKG stand out were present at Kappasta. Where many sorority philanthropy events sport innuendo-laden T-shirts (such as Campus Golf’s “Tap That” shirt), Kappasta has been host to primmer tag-lines such as last year’s “S is for Saucy,” and this year’s “What’s Cooking, Good Lookin’?” Some girls wore pearls over their orange t-shirts, and several had pastel-colored polo collars peaking out from underneath them. Though the girls of KKG may have played the role of refined hostess while serving and socializing with their guests yesterday, behind the scenes they exhibited a steadfast dedication to the work of the evening, as well as to the cervical cancer research fund that was the reason for the event.
p. “We’re all very active and involved,” Devitt said of her sorority. Kappa Kappa Gamma chose to make cancer research their official philanthropy two years ago, though she said members of KKG had been active in volunteering for breast cancer research funds for years before that. She cited several other examples of the sorority’s dedication to service, such as the large number of members who spent their spring break on service trips and on the sorority tradition to send 10 or more girls to a 5K run for cancer research several hours away. “This year was really cute. A lot of the seniors did practice runs down DoG Street.”
p. Devitt said she is not concerned with any misperceptions of her sorority. “People might like to say we do [Kappasta] because we don’t like to get our hands dirty,” she said. “I think Kappasta is a lot of fun. All your friends come and have a good time, and it’s for a great cause we all care about.”