Party-goers enjoy music at the Texas Fiji house on Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

At the 85th annual RoundUp weekend, over 15,000 people congregated in West Campus for big-name performers, parties and crawfish boils despite facing limitations because of the city’s new sound control ordinances.

During RoundUp weekend, many UT fraternities host parties and performers at their houses. Musicians Riff Raff, Shwayze, Travis Porter and many others made appearances this year. Sororities often use the weekend to host charity events for their philanthropies. To read about the weekend's philanthropic events, click here.

Lee Lueder, Interfraternity Council president and Plan II and finance senior, said IFC sold an estimated $25,000 worth of wristbands to non-UT students for $10 each. RoundUp is free for UT students.   

Zack Fernandez, mechanical engineering senior and member of Acacia fraternity, said his fraternity had no problems with Austin’s noise ordinances, which the City implemented last fall. These ordinances place restrictions on amplified music and music played outdoors in residential areas.

“We’ve gotten all of our permits in order, and everyone’s been having a good time,” Fernandez said. “The truth is, as long as you keep it under the limits of what [Austin Police Department] tells you, … everyone can have fun.”

Lueder said he hasn’t heard any complaints about the weekend, though several parties were disbanded. 

“A lot of parties got shut down, which was disappointing, because we didn’t know what to expect with the new sound ordinances,” Lueder said. “But I think it went pretty well.”

Sullivan said some parties moved inside following sound ordinance violations. Attendance was lower at certain events because smaller indoor capacities limited the number of people that could be admitted.  

“It honestly might have been a little bit smaller because of sound ordinance stuff,” Sullivan said. “RoundUp is never going to be the same.”

Ryan Sullivan, IFC philanthropy chair and supply chain management junior, said the proceeds from the weekend will go partially to Friends and Family Community Connection, an organization that hosts food packaging events for those in need. The IFC and University Panhellenic Council will hold an event in September during which students will package meals to be shipped out to impoverished people in Haiti.

“All of us are very focused on our own personal philanthropy stuff, which I think it is great, [but] something like [this event] that brings everybody together helps us give to similar causes,” Sullivan said.

Another portion of the money raised will go to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, Sullivan said. A final portion will be allocated to the fraternities themselves to fund fixed costs of their future philanthropy events.  

Fernandez said he feels philanthropy events should be the takeaway from the weekend, although the parties are the main draw for students.

“When you’re going to a RoundUp party, you’re going [because] it’s the biggest party of the year,” Fernandez said. “The other side that you have to see is all the philanthropy going on. That’s the big thing that you have to take away from this, is with all of the sorority events and food events, a lot of this is going to charity.”

Check out our slideshow of the best photos from RoundUp 2015 below.

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

The number of mustaches on campus may increase this November.

Interfraternity Council members are using facial hair to raise awareness about men’s health, especially testicular and prostate cancer, in their fifth “Movember.” Beginning Saturday, members are asking men on campus to grow a mustache to show their support for men’s health, and, if they choose, to do so to raise money, which will be donated to the Livestrong and Movember foundations.

“The idea behind Movember is you start the month clean-shaven, and then you grow a mustache,” said Matt Lillard, economics senior and IFC vice president of philanthropy. “And when people ask you about it you say ‘Oh, I’m doing this for Movember to raise awareness for men’s health.”

To encourage participation, Lillard said IFC hired The Boondock Barbershop to park its trailer on Speedway and give out free shaves to students.

“We’re trying to get people clean shaven and signed up,” Lillard said.

Participating students receive a straight-edge shave that would otherwise cost $35, according to Edwin Qian, economics and management information systems senior and IFC president. The trailer will be on campus until Friday.

“We thought, what a better idea than for us to be a part of it,” said Ziridiana Mendez, manager of The Boondock. “Because we can bring out a little bit of our services with our awesome barbers and bring awareness to everyone else about what Movember is.”

Students who participate in Movember have the option to ask for donations while growing their facial hair. According to Qian, the IFC raised over $21,000 last year for Movember, and their goal for this year is $30,000.

“It’s been growing significantly every year,” Qian said.

IFC is the parent organization of 26 University fraternities. Qian said the fraternities are working with each other to raise money for
the cause.

“The council really wants to unite all the fraternities together to work toward a common goal,” Qian said.

The Movember Foundation is a global organization, and, according to Qian, other universities across the nation participate in the month, including Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University, Baylor University and Texas Christian University. Qian said the schools in the Big 12 are competing to raise the most money.

Isaac Reyes, mechanical engineering senior and member of Pi Kappa Phi, was waiting in line at the trailer. He said Movember was personal to him because he has known people with prostate cancer.

“I’m also a member of Texas 4000,” Reyes said. “We’re a big proponent of fighting cancer, and one of the big movements that we’re responsible for is tackling prostate cancer, which is something that several friends of my family have gone through.”

Reyes is not yet sure what type of facial hair he is going to grow.

“I was growing out a beard earlier in the semester, and I shaved it,” Reyes said. “So, I guess I’m going clean before the month starts. We’ll see. I don’t grow the best mustache, but maybe this is the time to figure out if I can.”

The kaleidoscopic blur of neon-colored apparel and partying that is Roundup will commence this weekend.

Officials overseeing the administrative side of the Greek-oriented event are bracing themselves for the weekend’s festivities, implementing a host of safety initiatives that will facilitate responsible decision-making and keep high school students out of parties and away from alcohol. 

Following several of the same safety initiatives carried out for Roundup 2012 — a relatively successful weekend that saw a decrease in filed police reports — the Interfraternity and University Panhellenic councils distributed 20,000 identification wristbands over the course of three days at several off-campus locations and outside the Student Activity Center on Thursday. 

Edwin Qian, a management information systems junior and member of the IFC, said the wristbands are primarily distributed to diminish the presence of high school students. Qian said Roundup is not a recruiting event for Greek organizations. 

“The wristband is mainly to keep the high school kids out this weekend,” Qian said. “If you have a UT ID, we scan it to verify your identity. The scanners we use are hooked up to the UT student database to make sure people don’t get more than one wristband.” 

Qian said participants need not be enrolled at UT. Students from all universities can attend Roundup as long as they present valid ID. 

“Since Roundup is pretty famous, a lot of non-UT students come to hang out with us,” Qian said. “We just have to verify that they’re of age or attending college.” 

Donald James McNamara, a finance junior and president of the IFC, said Roundup is not a UT-sanctioned event or in any way hosted by the IFC or UPC. Rather, all Roundup events are planned by individual Greek organizations. The IFC, UPC and Office of the Dean of Students partner to find ways to curb high school student attendance and assure the safety of participants. 

“Each individual fraternity is responsible for managing all aspects of their Roundup events, including attendance policy, event safety and risk management,” McNamara said. “All safety planning implemented by individual organizations should be in accordance with the IFC Risk Management Policy, each fraternity’s own risk management policy and all state and local laws.” 

McNamara said the IFC has no specific arrangements with law enforcement, but has hired third-party companies to deal with security and first response.

“We have not been in contact with the Austin Police Department, and Roundup is out of UTPD’s jurisdiction,” McNamara said, “but we do have our own EMS and ambulance on call for the weekend, just in case anything goes wrong.” 

Andrianna Frinzi, a communication studies junior and spokeswoman for the UPC, said each organization’s security and safety procedures differ, but there are minimum guidelines each organization must meet. 

McNamara elaborated on his own fraternity’s security procedures.

“Basically, there is a hired third party that will handle the front door at events,” McNamara said. “They will be asking students to present the IFC wristband in order to get in. Most places will also be checking student IDs just to make sure people are of age. If there’s alcohol present at the event, then there will be a third party handing out separate age-verified wristbands.” 

Greek organizations participating in Roundup won’t all be hosting parties. Ryan Lohmann, a civil engineering senior and member of the faith-based Beta Upsilon Chi, said his fraternity and Sigma Phi Lamda will distribute free water bottles to Roundup participants on the corner of 25th and Pearl streets. 

Taylor Villarreal, a journalism sophomore who will attend her first Roundup this year, said she is not worried about safety. 

“I know that Roundup has a reputation for being fun and very neon … and crazy, very crazy,” Villarreal said. “A lot of events are during the day, so I’m not concerned. It’s in West Campus, and I live pretty close. I have a lot of friends here, so a lot of people that are out I already know.”