Students rushed around, kicked a soccer ball, and tried to score on tiny nets on the Wilson Quad this past Tuesday, suited up not in shinpads and cleats, but in bubbles.
They were bumbling their way through the game as part of a Beta Theta Pi rush event, the first of their inaugural year as a fraternity.
The game consists of two teams playing soccer while encased in large, plastic bubbles that create a barrier around the player’s head and upper body, which allows for boisterous tackling. Both spectators and members of the fraternity seemed to enjoy themselves as they appreciated the sunny evening.
“A bunch of people were having fun. Everyone was just there to have a good time,” said junior Claudia Perez, a spectator of the game.
As students watched their friends play the game, they laughed and enjoyed recording the events on their phones. Passersby and attendees could also eat free Insomnia Cookies that were being given out on the porch of Wilson Commons.
Perez’s favorite part of watching the game was seeing people getting knocked over.
“There were people who would get flipped upside down, and then you would need to push them over because they could not right themselves back up,” she laughed. “It was great.”
The idea, which originally came from the chapter’s group chat, had the members excited to start planning immediately.
Besides finding food and a venue, they had to find a provider of the equipment. The bubble soccer company was actually in Boston, so the provider drove seven hours in order to set up the event, and when it was finished, he drove another seven hours to get back to Massachusetts.
While this was all part of Rush Week, there were larger goals in mind for this event than to recruit new members.
“A lot of fraternity rush events keep it insular to their organization, but we really wanted to branch out to the community,” Michael Gilbert, President of Beta Theta Pi, said.“We wanted people to get to know us.”
Gilbert, a senior, thought the event was a success.
“The bubble soccer was great because it was fun and it got a lot of energy,” he said. “I just think it’s great that we have so much excitement.”
With forty new additions to the organization, he believes the members are ready to do anything.