Spectators attending the 14th annual Fight Night this Friday will be met by a slightly more dressed-up event this year as new restrictions have been placed on the event’s ring girls and their outfits.
The ring girls, a total of 24 from seven different sororities, will participate in the boxing event as dancers and presenters. Art Madrigal, the Fight Night coordinator and philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE), said the Office of Student Life (OSL) was displeased with the conduct of the ring girls in past years and requested greater restrictions on the ring girls’ attire and dances for this year’s event.
“This year [the ring girls] had to get their costumes approved by a chair at OSL,” Madrigal said. “They also can’t dance on the rails around the boxers. OSL also had a major problem with dancing that was too sexual.”
Shaelen Burroughs, a second-year sociology major and ring girl from Delta Gamma, said the attire this year would be less revealing.
“There are more restrictions and precautions on what you’re wearing this year,” Burroughs said. “They had restrictions on how much skin we could show on the top and bottom. They don’t want girls out there in just their bras and underwear.”
Ring girl Brittany Bond, a second-year law & society major and also a member of Delta Gamma, said she had to go before a panel to discuss what was appropriate for the event.
“I met with Stephan [Franklin, director of Greek Affairs], a police officer and the Community Service Organization coordinator [Jill Shepard], and we all sat down and set guidelines,” Bond said. “They took pictures from last year and evaluated them. We then based our costumes off of that.”
Franklin declined to comment specifically about the university’s new policy toward the ring girls, but said OSL is looking at the event as a whole.
“We’re looking at different components of Fight Night and trying to make it safe for all,” he said.
Even with the new outfit restrictions, Bond said the changes are for the better.
“It’s better for the safety of the girls,” she said. “I think the ring girls should promote the event and be more about the dancing. [Ring girls] should be portraying women in a positive light because it is for charity.”
Krystle Rossi, a first-year business economics major and ring girl from Alpha Delta Pi, said she did not find anything wrong with the entertainment.
“It’s definitely not sexist,” Rossi said. “If I felt I was being degraded, I wouldn’t do it.”
Avra Lazear, a second-year law & society major and ring girl from Kappa Alpha Theta, said the changes in dress and dance are important because they protect the integrity of the sororities.
“We’re protecting the image of our sororities,” Lazear said. “In the past we’ve been made to look bad, like in the Nexus. The Nexus usually points out the negative aspect and not the positive aspects.”
Lazear said the sororities involve themselves in many charity events and each sorority donated $250 to Fight Night. PIKE’s ring girl coordinator, Joe Pluta, said he advertised to sororities looking for ring girls.
“Basically what I did was I found one contact in each house and basically explained that we needed to get four girls from each house for Fight Night. [The contacts] then asked around in their houses to see who wanted to do it.”
Second-year financial mathematics and statistics major Tracy Leopoldo, a ring girl from Alpha Delta Pi, said the girls were not selected based on their appearance, but rather on the basis of who wanted to volunteer and how outgoing the girl was.
“I feel like for someone to do something like what we’re doing, you have to have a lot of confidence and be able to go up there and not be shy,” Leopoldo said. “It’s also nice that we’re not competing against each other. It brings the girls closer together.”
Leopoldo said spectators can expect to see skits and choreographed hip hop dances at Fight Night.
Lyndsay McClelland, a third-year communication major and ring girl from Delta Gamma, said she did not expect anyone to be disappointed despite the new restrictions.
“I don’t think anyone will notice the difference,” McClelland said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s for charity.”