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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Brotherhood and bashing cars: How many frat guys does it take to destroy a car?

Jack Mason (current member of Sigma Nu) and James Sandlin (current member of Sigma Nu) survey the damage of the car. Photo credit: Brooke Martin

Every year students rush fraternities and sororities hoping to become a new member of Greek life. While there are many recruitment events that take place, one stands out. It involves sledgehammers, lots of testosterone and an old PT Cruiser (this semester’s victim).

Chico State’s Sigma Nu fraternity has a long-standing tradition of inviting potential new members, every semester, to join them in smashing a car.

Recruitment can sometimes be nerve-wrecking. Pledges are meeting so many new people while getting judged by them at the same time. Smashing a car is a silly and fun activity that lightens the mood. Everyone is laughing, the music is blaring and everyone has the same goal: destroy the car as much as possible.

Sometimes things on the surface appear to serve no purpose but they actually have an underlying meaning. While smashing a car may seem like a meaningless act, it’s actually a Sigma Nu tradition dating back to the 80’s, according to members, to bond with pledges.

“Many may ask what the point of destroying a car with sledgehammers is, but it has a much deeper meaning than you think,” said Blake Emery, current President of the Iota Kappa chapter of Sigma Nu. “The car bash gives brothers a chance to meet guys interested in joining Sigma Nu in a unique way. How often do you get to destroy a car? Not very often.”

Traditions are important, especially in greek life, to create unity and bonding.

Not only does the car bash give students a chance to meet Sigma Nu members, but it also provides a unique experience that connects the pledges and members.

“It’s been super cool to have this bonding experience for all of the guys who were already in the brotherhood and potential new members who wanna join,” said two-year member, Diego Cardoso. “All around it’s a really fun and unique brotherhood experience and, to be honest, frat guys like breaking stuff, so that’s always fun too.”

While it’s a fun experience and tradition, it’s also a memory that, hopefully, Sigma Nu members will reminisce on years from now.

“We want to make guys remember the good time they had, the brothers they met and the experiences that they can remember, if they choose to join Greek life, but more importantly, if they join Sigma Nu,” Emery said.

Thankfully, the car bashing tradition doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. So rest in peace Owen Rempel’s (current Sigma Nu Treasurer) PT Cruiser and all of the future car victims of Sigma Nu.

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.

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