A mob of soaked students in Greek life made their way back to their rooms earlier than expected after the annual Greek God and Goddess contest got cancelled as a result of an unwelcome surprise Wednesday night: Miami weather.
What started as a drizzle halfway through the talent portion of the competition intensified shortly thereafter, soaking the Lakeside Patio.
“Take cover,” said event Co-Chair Christine Castiglione to the audience as she rushed offstage, a wave of rain following her.
Executive board members postponed the event until Friday at 7 p.m. Greek God and Goddess performances will be interspersed with O-Cheer, the dance and cheer event that was scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. on Friday.
“We definitely finished with a Poseidon moment. Ultimately, Poseidon won. We look forward to seeing you on Friday,” Associate Dean of Students and Director of Greek Life Steve Priepke said.
The competition began with hundreds of students from the Greek community gathering on the patio to watch their fraternity brothers, sorority sisters and fellow Greeks perform. The preparation for Greek Week 2016 began nearly a year ago, according to Greek Week Public Relations Chair Hallie Schechter.
“We put hours of work into this, months in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly,” she said.
Schechter’s sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, was one of the organizations that competed. She said it took an unprecedented amount of work to even get one goddess ready for the event.
“There’s a team of like 30 people helping the one girl that’s going to be the goddess,” Schechter said.
First up in the competition were the introductory videos. Each team – the fraternities and sororities were combined into eight teams – was required to submit a one-minute video, judged on originality, creativity, team spirit, Greek spirit, school spirit and costumes that represented the organization’s mixer theme, to be played before their performance.
Then came the main attraction: the talent round.
God and Goddess Co-Chairs and hosts Castiglione and Nick Sconzo took the stage in toga-like garments to kick off the event with freshman Jordan Hurwitz performing an original song, “Riverbank.”
The talent portion of the contest contained a whole spectrum of talents. In the first four acts alone, sophomore Eli Furman from Alpha Delta Pi performed a hip-hop dance, Chelsea Cook from Chi Omega belly danced to Shakira and sophomore Nathalie Mairena from Kappa Kappa Gamma played two songs on the piano.
Senior Liam O’Brien from Pi Kappa Phi and junior Shannon Ueberfluss from Delta Phi Epsilon both performed popular songs. Senior Sam May was about to take the stage to perform circus acts when the rain began.
The judges were handpicked by the Greek Week planning committee: sociology Professor Katelyn Rozenbroek, former UM Student Body President Brandon Mitchell and Jessica Osman, a representative from United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of South Florida (UCP).
Greek Week is an annual, weeklong event used to promote unity in the Greek community – roughly 20 percent of the university population – and to raise money for UCP.
Updates will be posted on the Greek Week Facebook page: facebook.com/umiamigreekweek.
Justin Lei contributed to this report.
Correction, Feb. 25, 11:18 a.m.: This article originally stated that contest judge Jessica Osman was a former Student Government president. She is a representative from United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of South Florida. This article was also updated to reflect the correct number of performers in the contest.