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Eta Delta at Hillsdale College

We began the year by staffing a booth at
“The Source,” an information fair during
freshman orientation. There we got a list of
incoming and returning students interested
in the Classics. A week later, we hosted
an Eta Sigma Phi mixer during which we
introduced the interested students to our
officers and let them know of our upcoming
activities this semester. The next week
we had our Homerathon, 24 books, 24
hours, 24 miles. We decided to host the
event earlier in the hopes of experiencing
some warmer weather. Unfortunately, we
experienced both some rain from above
and water from below from the campus
sprinkler system. We followed up the next
weekend with our Classics picnic, which
included several rounds of feasting and disc
golf. In October we sent two current and
two recent graduates to Richmond, VA for
the CAMWS Southern Section convention
where they read their papers at the Eta
Sigma Phi panel. In November, Professor
Robert Chenault from Willamette University
gave a talk on the Senate in Rome
after Constantine moved the capital of the
Empire to the East, entitled “Old Rome in
the New Roman Empire.” During Parents’
Weekend in both semesters, we staffed an
information booth and sold t-shirts and
truffles to raise money for the convention.
In February, we had our annual Date
Infliction Auction, in which people bid
for the privilege of NOT dating classicists,
but rather the honor of inflicting them
upon some, poor, unsuspecting soul at our
annual Cheese Ball. This year’s theme was
“Latin Fiesta” and attendees saw several
togas and sombreros, sometimes on the
same people.
Among our ongoing projects, we staff
a room for Greek and Latin peer tutoring
12 hours per week. In conjunction with
the local Kiwanis Club, we helped distribute
dictionaries to over 500 third-graders
throughout Hillsdale County. In our presentation,
we tell the students about what
we as Classics majors study, we teach them
about the Greek and Latin roots in many
of the words we use today, and we teach
them the Greek alphabet, so that they can
write their names in their dictionaries.
Ten Latin students serve as the teachers
of the Latin program for all 75 students at
Hillsdale Preparatory School, from Kindergarten
up to the 8th grade. Once again, we
sold Latin Valentine’s Day cards made by
the students of the school to pay for books
and other teaching materials. Students
also continued to make monthly research
trips to the Hatcher Graduate Library to
do work on their papers for upper-level language
classes and the Greek and Roman
Civilization classes.
The year concluded with several old
traditions, and one new one. For this year’s
Geek Week, in which honoraries throughout
the campus hosted various games and
challenges for honor, for glory, and for
charity, which culminate once again in
Honorama, the honorary bowling challenge.
Later that week, we held our first
annual Philippic-Off in which students
declaimed translations of the orations
of both Demosthenes and Cicero to the
cheering masses. Finally, in April, we established
a new office for the chapter, that
of poet laureate of Eta Sigma Phi. Duties
of our new generation of Homeridae will be
to commemorate in poetry the res gestae
of our chapter, to be performed at various
meetings and gatherings. After our second
annual poetry recitation contest, our year
concluded with our final feast of the year,
the Floralia.

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