The men of ATO pose for a picture on their porch before their tug of war event. Photo by Jasmyne Ray for The Alabamian.
The University of Montevallo chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) held a two-day event at their house, lasting from Wednesday, Sept. 23 to Thursday, Sept. 24. The annual event, known as Viking Week, doubled as a social and philanthropic event.
In addition to celebrating ATO’s 150th anniversary, Viking Week served as a way of raising funds and awareness for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
“ATO is really unique compared to everyone else. We don’t have an annual philanthropy. They leave it up to each chapter’s discretion,” said chapter president Steven Walling.
According to Walling, each ATO brother puts the name of a charitable organization in a hat at the beginning of the year. The organization that is drawn receives the proceeds of all of their philanthropic events for the academic year. “There are so many of us,” said Walling, “and a lot of us have different things that touch us.”
The first day of Viking Week consisted of a tug of war competition between the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Greek organizations on campus, followed by a celebration the next night where the winners were announced.
Chi Omega was declared the winner of the competition between the sororities, and Phi Gamma Delta won the fraternity competition.
Despite the fact that her sorority won, Chi Omega president Haley Barnett says that the event was more than just a friendly competition. “For me, as a Chi Omega, it’s not all about winning. It’s about supporting a good cause. Being competitive while also [raising] money was an amazing opportunity, and I am glad I was able to be a part of it.”