Formals And Coolers

Back from break and already a little wary about the upcoming semester? Let's take our minds off the cold and get a jump on a topic everyone is looking forward to: fraternity formals.

Fraternity formals are a weekend escape to a beach location full of fun daytime activities and a formal event one of the evenings.

Typically fraternity formals take place throughout the month of April in beach cities like Charleston and Myrtle Beach. To decide on the location, many fraternities elect a specific formal chair whose sole duty is planning the formal, as confirmed by Nick Berman of Sigma Chi. Alpha Tau Omega, however, elects a formal chair, but the chapter votes to decide the location.

Fraternity members are invited to bring a date to participate in all of the fun the weekend has to offer. In exchange for an invitation to the formal, girls often agree to paint their date a customized cooler.

Alpha Delta Pi sophomore, Isabella Kinkelaar, attended a fraterntity formal in Isle of Palms, S.C., this past spring and made a cooler for her date. She says the key to a good cooler is to include things they like, ranging from brand logos like Vineyard Vines and Brooks Brothers, to beach scenes or pictures of the Old Well. Other commonly seen images on the coolers include the date’s name in a creative font, the fraternity's insignia, sports teams and the name of the town the event is being held in. Berman, of Sigma Chi, said he especially liked the hand painted American flag on his cooler.

Making a cooler is no easy task. The complete process can take as little as 10 hours, says Summer Debnam also of Alpha Delta Pi, with some taking as long as three weeks. Supplies for coolers can also cost upwards of $100.

For those with questions about making a cooler, the Facebook group, The Cooler Connection, is a perfect guide for making the perfect cooler. The group offers suggestions to inspire girls, as members post pictures of coolers that they have painted themselves. The group also helps with questions about which type of cooler is best to paint, what size, how to mod podge pictures on the coolers and the list goes on.

April is only a few months away. To prepare for the upcoming season, purchase coolers soon for lower prices.

For now, enjoy the cold and remember that warmer days will be upon us before we know it.

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