Balls will fly as sorority girls, swimsuits and security guards come together on Saturday at Alpha Tau Omega’s (ATO) All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament.
Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 22 teams of bikini-clad sorority girls will compete in the charity tournament at Greek Park and at several on-campus volleyball courts. ATO philanthropy co-chair Jeff Davidson said the all-day event will also feature a bikini contest and free Woodstock’s pizza, but said the fraternity is maintaining a strict “bring-your-own-beer policy.” Due to the large crowds of participants and spectators expected at the event, Sgt. Steve Johnson of the I.V. Foot Patrol (IVFP) said extra deputies will patrol the event. He also said ATO will be providing its own private security.
Curtis Miller, ATO philanthropy co-chair, said the fraternity plans to donate an estimated $4,000 in profits raised by the event to help victims of the January 2005 La Conchita mudslide, which killed 10 people and leveled several homes in the small town located about 15 miles south of Santa Barbara.
Davidson said this is the first year ATO has hosted the volleyball tournament, which was formerly known as the Inter-sorority Volleyball Tournament (ISVT) and was hosted by the now-defunct Lambda fraternity. He said this year’s tournament turnout is expected to be higher than past years, featuring visiting teams from UCLA and Cal Poly.
“This year it’s a little bit bigger,” Davidson said. “Last year, there were 16 teams, and this year there’s 22.”
Because the tournament draws so many visitors to Isla Vista, Sgt. Johnson said, the IVFP will have three or four overtime officers on hand for the event, in order to provide a safer environment for attendees. He said the IVFP’s policies will not be enforced any differently, despite the higher volume of traffic in the park.
“Our normal enforcement is zero tolerance for alcohol violations,” Johnson said. “That’s going to remain in effect. In the past, we’ve only basically had routine problems. Usually, it’s a fairly well controlled event. We don’t expect major problems.”
ATO President Brandon Nash said the IVFP met with ATO’s philanthropy co-chairs, who are in charge of organizing the tournament, and mandated that the fraternity provide a private security detail at Greek Park to support IVFP’s enforcement efforts.
Davidson said one-fifth of ATO’s $5,000 budget will go toward paying for the additional security. He said ATO will provide six security guards at Greek Park, and four CSO officers who will patrol the on-campus volleyball courts. Miller said the extra security will help secure the park and ensure that revelers are following the rules of the alcohol permit, but he said ATO is counting on individuals to police themselves.
“We have an alcohol permit for the park,” Miller said. “But it’s only for those over 21, and they have to stay within the confines of the park. It’s an open event and there’s no regulation for people coming in — it’s up to the specific person.”
Nash said ATO’s underage members have been verbally warned about the consequences of consuming alcohol in the park.
“We told everyone that if they’re thinking about drinking in Greek Park, don’t even think about it,” Nash said. “The IVFP will be out there in full force.”
Nash said he hopes that the focus of this year’s event will be on charity, rather than chugging beer.
“In the past, people would get MIPs in the park,” Nash said. “In the past, it was loosely run, and got a little wild. We want it to be a philanthropy event where money is raised. We want it to be a fun event, but we have to make sure we stick to our goals.”