In an effort to bond together while raising money for charity, Binghamton University Greek life has challenged students to dance the night away during the University’s first-ever dance marathon.
“We’re going to constantly be having music and games going, but the point is to just stay on your feet and try not to sit,” said Rachel Engelberg, an event organizer from Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and a senior majoring in bioengineering.
The event, a fundraiser for the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network, will run from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday. According to Matthew Blum, an organizer from Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and a junior majoring in biology, the event is an effort to bring Greek organizations together.
“There is a lack of strong Greek culture,” Blum said. “There haven’t really been unifying events in the past. We want to do something with Greek life that goes beyond State Street.”
Lester Coghill, director of Greek life at BU, said that the event was beginning to generate positive feedback from the students.
“Many fraternities and sororities have their own events that support separate causes, but we were looking for one event where everyone could claim part ownership,” Coghill wrote in an email. “This is a fairly new idea for our fraternity and sorority community, but they are starting to warm up to the idea, and while this dance marathon will be a success, I am sure the future dance marathons will be even better.”
Engelberg, though, said the event should be focused on the children for whom students are fundraising.
“We want to keep standing because what we’re really doing is standing up for these kids. What we’re doing for them is really important,” Engelberg said. “There’s going to be five kids coming through from the Children’s Miracle Network, so that’s going to be a highlight.”
Carly Rubenfeld, a non-Greek Life organizer and a senior majoring in psychology, explained that the marathon would include giveaways, games and hourly music themes to entertain participants.
“We’re going to have different song themes, some ’90s, some ’80s, some ’60s music. But each hour we’re going to teach everyone a minute of a dance routine. At the end of the event we will be able to put together a 10-minute awesome dance routine,” Rubenfeld said. “We’ll also have free food, prizes and games — a lot like the way ‘Relay For Life’ is done.”
According to the dance marathon’s website, only 20 out of the 51 operating Greek chapters had officially signed up as of Wednesday.
The 211 registered participants had raised $4,328 toward the $30,000 goal.
“We anticipated more people would be interested, but now we’re starting to see more people sign up,” Blum said. “It’s still pretty simple to raise money, and you can pay at the door.”