A Final Hurrah

For many Brothers of Tau Kappa, this year’s Winter Formal on February 28th unknowingly became a final hurrah to cap off an unforgettable year. There was, of course, much to celebrate: the Chapter excelled academically, initiated its largest pledge class in decades and its standing on campus had never been more positive. It did not matter that the province would shut down no more than nineteen days later; we were already celebrating like it was the end of the world.

The Venue

Nearly forty Phi Gams and their lovely dates assembled at the Gatsby’s Speakeasy that evening. This was the Chapter’s third year in a row hosting a formal at the venue, given the familiarity and solid relationship between with the bar’s owners, the Chapter and the event’s organizer, Anthony Khoury (2020). Most importantly, this mutual relationship has helped keep our costs down. Our Formal is nearly half as expensive as those of some other fraternities without sacrificing any amenities.

Two years ago, the venue was home to the ‘Chill Ice House’, a room lined with thick ice blocks and filled with all sorts of frozen creations. However, with the closure of the room, the Brothers exchanged the winter wonderland for a more traditional Gatsby theme this year — and copious amounts of food. Our resident chef, Matthew Tran (2021), spearheaded a monumental cooking effort with the help of Tommy Liu (2022), Daniel Sheen (2022) and several pledge brothers. On offer were a motley assortment of sides and desserts, including a garden salad, ciabatta bread, roasted vegetables, and banana bread cut into triangular slices. Headlining the food was a main course of fusilli pasta with pesto and oven-baked chicken. All of the food was entirely homemade, a testament to the varied and excellent skills of the Chapter.

Awards Ceremony

After the dinner, Anthony hosted the highly-anticipated awards show and Formal Roast. A number of superlatives, based on an anonymous survey a in the weeks prior, were first given out. These included, but were not limited to, “Man of the Year”, “Rookie of the Year”, “Best Hair”, “Best Wingman” and “Cutest couple”. The latter award went to the superstar duo of outgoing President and “Man of the Year” Ian Armour (2020), and our newest Fiji sweetheart Jacqueline Kirilow (pictured below left). Having endlessly baked, helped around the house, and supported Brothers in any way she could throughout the year, her selection was the least surprising award of the night.

The Roast

The Formal Roast that followed certainly livened up the night. It was the ferocious product of nearly two months of work of Allen Xu (2022) and several other contributors. For nearly twenty minutes, Allen took turns tearing the members of the Chapter apart in a meticulously prepared tirade. Mouths wide open smiles and faces buried in hands, accompanied by a cacophony of laughter and shocked gasps, became a common sight. The Chapter would have the last laugh, however, when a separately written roast for Allen capped off one of the best Roasts in recent history.

The rest of the night...

Once the Brothers helped remove the dinner tables and cleared a space in the middle of the venue, the rest of the night began. The mood was, of course, still upbeat and jovial. The Brothers and their dates danced until they could not anymore, all captured through the lens of Alan Powichrowski’s (2022) camera. Alan was also instrumental in transportation of food to and from the venue, an unseen task that also resulted in a Brother’s suit getting annihilated by grease.

All in all, the night was a resounding success, a final outpouring of thrill and indulgence before the impending social hibernation. Indeed, next year’s Formal planners will surely have their hands full.

-Dima Sochnyev