Friendship - Traditions
*currently a tradition in 2013
Alumni in the Room*
During each meeting, either during their section or right before the Toast Song, the Alumni Secretary will circle the room naming each returning Alumni (if any), welcoming them back to our chapter. This becomes an increasingly fun job during Banquet and around the time of Homecoming, as we have more Alumni returning for a visit.
Each football season, ZB Brothers are sure to find chapter Alumni set up somewhere in the mass of tailgaters before a game grilling out and spending time with one another. What a great opportunity for active Brothers to meet Alumni! Let’s go, Hokies!
APO Olympics is a collection of fun and goofy games designed to foster Brotherhood and friendly competition between the pledge classes. Events for each Brother’s Meeting culminates in an outdoor activity at the end of the “Olympics” where the winner is announced over barbecue and good times.
Zeta Beta has a banquet each spring for all Brothers and Alumni to come together and celebrate another successful year. At banquet, awards are given, seniors receive goodbye gifts, superlatives are given out, a guest speaker talks to the guests, and the new executive committee members are inducted. It has become tradition for the Historian to prepare a slideshow full of pictures from the past year in APO. Banquet is a big event of food, dancing, music, and much more.
About once every two weeks, Brothers who choose to participate can be randomly “hooked up” with another Brother. They can choose to get lunch, catch a movie, or watch their favorite TV show together. The purpose is to expand your horizons to have a fellowship program throughout the entire Fraternity, not just one’s group of friends.
Traditionally once per semester, Brothers will get together one day or overnight to reflect on what Brotherhood truly means by spending time in true friendship with one another.
Starting in 2012 Brother will go on a camping trip to Crater Lake once a semester. Everyone brings food and brothers enjoy an evening of exchanging ghost stories and roasting marshmallows by the fire.
Brothers, Alumni and Pledges can also join a separate listserv called “DaList” to invite the Fraternity to other unplanned friendship events. With improving technology, Brothers now have a group on Facebook called “Teapots” where impromptu friendship events are posted.
Each semester it is required of the big brothers to schedule a family night with their Co’s and Little’s to spend time together. This is a great bonding experience for APO families and also a great opportunity for Big Brothers to complete their pages in their Littles’ pledge books.
Fishbowls is an informal gathering hosted by Zeta Beta Brothers every year in the fall semester. The tradition began in the 80’s and ZB when brothers served drinks out of fish tanks and drank out of fish bowls. This tradition has been alive ever since its beginning. Some Bigs decorate fishbowls and give them to their Littles for the event.
Free Friendship Event*
Once a semester the Vice President of Friendship plans and executes a friendship event of the fraternity's choosing of now cost to the brothers. The fraternity is presented with a number of options to vote on and the VPF picks the day and time that encompasses the most people. Friendship events have included laser-tagging, Go Kart, and put-put.
Girls Night Out/Boys Night Out*
Each spring semester ZB is split by gender for this unique friendship event. The girls choose something fun to do together and the boys do the same for themselves. The chosen activities are to be kept secret from the other gender, that’s what makes it fun.
Living in the Shenandoah Valley provides great opportunity for semester hiking trips. Hiking friendship events are often planned for the fall and spring. Whether a short four mile hike to the cascades or a sunrise hike to McCaffe's knob, brothers love exploring outside the NRV together.
These events bring the Brotherhood together to celebrate the many holidays associated with the winter season. They can range from a potluck to a semi-formal dinner complete with dance floor and catered dinner. However these events are carried out, the spirit of fellowship and celebration amongst the Brotherhood is always at the forefront.
Zeta Beta has participated enthusiastically in the festivities during Homecoming weekend for 45 of our 50 years. The traditional activities have included sponsoring homecoming queen and attendant candidates, building floats, marshaling the homecoming parade, releasing balloons at the beginning of the football game, and throwing tailgate and post-game parties with alumni.
APO Brothers may choose to sign-up for intramural sports--another fun and healthy way for members to interact with one another. Sports vary from semester to semester and can include flag football, dodgeball, water polo, wallyball and softball.
At the beginning of the spring semester, Brothers begin watching their backs and looking around corners because Killer has begun. Killer is a game in which Brothers have the names of other Brothers they must “kill” by spraying with a water gun or hitting with a sock before they get “killed” themselves. The last Brother remaining wins a free ticket to Banquet.
May Day occurs at the end of the spring semester. Brothers celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of school by gathering in the middle of a field in Blacksburg to burn books and furniture, to hang out, and to say goodbye!
ZB Brothers sometimes get together for informal movie nights. Movies are shown at a Brother’s dorm room or apartment, at the Lyric, at the New River Valley Mall Theater, or in a classroom. This is an excellent way for Brothers to hang out, have fun, watch a movie, and eat snacks.
Zeta Beta parents have the chance to experience what APO is all about and meet other brothers at service projects and other scheduled activities during Parent’s Weekend. Some activities in the past have included a picnic or going bowling. If the Parent’s Weekend is held in the fall, there is also a chance they will get to go to a VT football game with APO Brothers.
Pledges get together during the pledging period in a similar fashion as the brothers to get to know each other better. Some activities that take place at the retreats include: bon fires, board games, a scavenger hunt, ice breakers, Warm Fuzzies, movies, picnics, and a service project.
After Final Vote-In, Pledges have the opportunity to “get back” at the Fraternity in a skit they have prepared during their pledging period. It is the pledge class Vice President who is in charge of writing the skit with the help of the rest of the Pledges who will all participate in it. It is also a tradition for the Brothers to be “rowdy” during the skit by shooting water guns or silly string and throwing paper at the Pledges.
During the Fall semester, brothers plan a day to visit the pumpkin patch at Sinkland Farms to enjoy a day together outdoors. The pumpkin patch has a petting zoo, pumpkins to choose from, crafts for sale, and other fun things to do with other brothers.
It has become a tradition for the Vice President of Friendship to schedule a day for brothers to go to the Radford Low Ropes Course and spend the day doing teambuilding activities. Every fall, the executive committee members do the High Ropes Course at Radford together to get an early bonding experience before working hard together for the whole upcoming school year.
Every Wednesday night the brothers meet at Squires Student Center at 9:30 pm and walk to Sycamore Deli to learn and dance in their Salsa Night. Brothers of all talent come out for this hour of slasa to improve their moves and have a blast seeing each other try.
APO Secret Santa takes after the traditional game of Secret Santa. This holiday activity consists of each brother getting a gift for another brother anonymously. Identities of the gift givers aren't revealed until the very end when the gifts are opened.
Senior Baby Picture Slideshow*
For the final brothers meeting of the Spring semester, the Historian compiles submitted baby pictures of the graduating seniors and displays them in a slideshow for everyone to "awe" at.
Near the end of the Spring semester, because there are so many graduating seniors, the Historian takes a pictures of the APO seniors in front of Burruss Hall in their APO letters. These pictures are often printed out and given to the seniors as a token of the brotherhoods well wishes after graduation.
At the very end of each semester, the Friendship VP schedules a mini-APO study break. Typically held on Reading Day right before finals, Study Break is a time when Brothers can relax together for a bit to get away from studying for exams. In the past, APO has held Study Break at the Wendy’s, Taco Bell or Moe’s on Main Street. Penny Wars traditionally ends at this time.
Sunshines are a truly wonderful way to show a Brother that you are grateful for something they did for you. Given out by the Vice President of Service, the awards usually consist of candy or some other treat. They are given away at Brothers’ Meeting. Exec Members, while they can be nominated, can only win an Honorable Mention. It is also recommended that if a Brother emails a nomination, they explain what point of the Scout Law the act represents, to always remind us of our commitment to these principles.
In the past, Brothers have the opportunity to vote for APO superlatives to be given out in the Fall and Spring. Superlatives are now decided on by the Vice President of Friendship’s banquet committee. Typical APO superlatives consist of awards for things such as Best Smile, Most Artistic, Biggest APO-addict, Best Dancer, Friendliest, and many more.
Thursday Night Club
Thursday Night Club or TNC is another friendship event Zeta Beta traditionally hosts. Every Thursday night, you can find APO Brothers hanging out at Champs in downtown Blacksburg, although TNC was originally held at Hokie House. Brothers enjoy hanging out with one another, playing darts, and taking a break from the long week of classes.
Weekly dinners take place at an on campus dining hall. They allow brothers to talk and bond over a delicious meal. It normally takes place before or after brothers meetings where brothers are already together.
Weenie of the Week*
“We only roast those we love.” At least that’s usually the case with the Weenie of the Week, where the most humorous exploits of the many members of APO are shared at the Brother’s meeting, to the delight or possibly even the horror of those involved. The winner is awarded a trophy truly deserving of such an honor: A Weenie toilet seat they are free to sign. In the past, those awarded the Weenie Seat have had a “Halloweenie” party, where they grill hot dogs and laugh in their own stupidity.
Winner of the Week*
Throughout the week brothers submit embarrassing pictures to the chapter Historian that will then be compiled into a slideshow to be presented at the upcoming brothers meeting. Embarrassing pictures are described and the brotherhood votes on the winning photo by a clap vote.
APO Zumba, a friendship event started in Fall 2011 by two zumba-certified brothers, is an event where brothers get together approximately once a month to spend an hour dancing to international music and getting an intense work out. It’s a fun event to attend because the brothers get to laugh at each others different levels of dancing skills.