by Dana Simpkin
Students passing through the Janzow Campus Center on Thursday afternoon may have been surprised to see a smorgasbord of delicate finger foods, a table set with mismatched teacups and students and a professor dressed in eccentric costumes and garish hats. Fear not—Concordia hasn’t fallen through the looking glass just yet. Concordia’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta had only been bringing a taste of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to the school with its annual Mad Hatter Tea Party.
The celebration of Carroll’s beloved story takes place on Oct. 6, in recognition of the digits “10/6” on the tag of the Hatter’s famous green top hat. The campus’ chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, Rho Omicron, has been organizing the event for the last three years.
“We kind of like the ‘mad’ idea of having a publicity event where we don’t do a lot to publicize our name as Sigma Tau,” said Dr. Gabriel Haley, assistant professor of English and Sigma Tau Delta’s faculty adviser. “It’s to get the members involved in something that has a campus exposure, but it’s supposed to be whimsical.”
The event isn’t exclusive to Sigma Tau members, as anyone and everyone is welcome to stop by for a treat or a warm beverage. Each year, Haley teaches his classes at the tea party, bringing in students who may not already be involved in the society for a fun experience outside of the classroom.
Even President Brian Friedrich stopped by to say hello and admire the spread, while the revelers passed around trays of cucumber sandwiches and played with Haley’s children, who made their first appearance at the event.
“(The society) is a great thing for English majors to get involved in, and it’s fun literary stuff, and I’m all about that. Anything with books,” sophomore Rachel Dorn said.
Dorn is one of eight initiates to the society this year, and both she and Haley are excited about the growing size and presence of the organization on campus.
For more information about Sigma Tau and other upcoming events, students can contact Dr. Haley or follow the society’s social media on Instagram and Twitter at @cunesigmatau or on Facebook by searching “CUNE Sigma Tau”.