I must admit, the news that Summit House (also known as the LGBT affinity house) will now be able to throw registers came as a bit of a shock to me. I’m very interested in seeing how this turns out, as there is a lot of potential here. I’ve never had a problem with fraternities dominating the party scene, but my innate curiosity has me excited about this development.
If any non-Greek organization were in the position to host registers, it would be the Summit House community. They are comfortably ensconced in the old Theta Chi fraternity house, so the infrastructure for such a gathering is already in place. All that’s needed is to capitalize on that.
As anyone in a fraternity can tell you, hosting a register is trickier than it looks. The logistics have to be sound, everything must be set up properly, and hours of planning and work go into the event. A key focus point is having the financial power to be able to bring in all the alcohol that needs to be on hand. I doubt Summit House has the ability to match any fraternity in alcohol volume, but I think that could be a good thing.
It means that instead of focusing on maintaining an endless supply of booze, the denizens of Summit House are going to have to focus on everything else. The theme will have to be perfect, the decorations solid, and the organization and set-up flawless. Everything else is going to have to fall in line if they want to compete, and it seems to me that focusing on everything but the alcohol could be a viable strategy. It will force them to be more creative, more interesting, and more resourceful when it comes to their events, and I believe they will find a way to rise to the challenge.
Additionally, it could allow for the opening up of the party scene to those who want to go out and have a good time, but not necessarily drink. That’s a niche that could be much stronger on this campus. Even I cannot fathom the possibilities that might come from pandering to them.
Perhaps nothing will change. Perhaps Summit House will not succeed in shaking up the social scene whatsoever. But the new possibilities for Summit House, combined with the ability for student organizations to host registers with the aid of Uptown, at least offer the potential for non-Greek organizations to try to contribute to the party scene. And I, for one, am interested in seeing where that leads.