Some students consider the walk to the Big House an exciting part of football Saturdays, reveling in the maize-and-blue-lined crowds and Hoover Street cheers.
But others — especially those trekking from distant corners of campus — deem it hot, exhausting and altogether terrible.
Delta Tau Delta, a fraternity that came to campus in 2006, has revved up a solution.
The fraternity now offers students game-day transportation on a “party bus” complete with air-conditioning and leather seats. The bus is an effort to boost the house’s recruitment numbers and make it better known around campus.
Starting about three hours before kickoff, the bus, adorned with large magnets bearing the fraternity’s name, shuttles students from stops at Mary Markley residence hall, Bursley residence hall and the C.C. Little Building to a tailgate at DTD’s house on Geddes Avenue. An hour before the game, the bus takes students from the tailgate to the stadium.
Anyone, regardless of class year or Greek affiliation, can use the bus.
LSA senior Will Doyle, a member of the fraternity, said the service is an easy sell, especially to people waiting for the usual bus from North Campus.
“It’s not hard to convince people to really get in there. It’s air-conditioned, so people are immediately willing to get on,” he said. “It’s basically like a limousine. Here’s the standard blue bus taking kids to the game,” he said, motioning with his hands, “here, come to our bus.”
College of Engineering junior Derek Geiger, another member of the fraternity, said he thinks the party bus has been successful, but added that many more students used it for the opening game, which started at 3:30 p.m., than for this past weekend’s noon game.
The atmosphere in the bus from the house to the Miami University game was relatively subdued. There were no raucous chants being echoed out the windows or renditions of the fight song, but those might come in time.
“We’re the only fraternity that’s ever done this before, so there’s a learning curve,” he said.
Engineering senior Brandon Geiger, the fraternity member who pitched the idea and Derek’s brother, said the bus attracted quite a bit of attention, even luring away a spectator partying at a nearby tailgate.
“The house on the corner (of Geddes Avenue and Observatory Street) was having a tailgate and we kept driving by it,” he said. “One guy was like ‘Hey can I get on?’ He left his own tailgate to get into our limo.”
Doyle said the party bus has been successful in combating the main problem with getting students to tailgate at their house: location.
Though the DTD house has a large lawn for the tailgate, it’s away from the path most people take to the stadium.
Brandon Geiger added that orchestrating the project has brought members of the fraternity together.
“The brotherhood has been really strong as far as making this happen,” he said. “It’s too big (a project) for one person.”
Although the entire fraternity is on board with the project now, Brandon Geiger said, it was a hard sell at first.
“It was a long, uphill battle,” he said. “I was saying we should do the bus and it kind of became the laughing stock of our fraternity.”
The bus is sponsored by Adrian’s T-shirt Printery, Luxury Limousine and Express Sign Design. The fraternity is absorbing the other costs of about $1,500 to $2,000 each game day.
Engineering junior Emily Orban, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority that partners with DTD for football game pre-partying, said the bus made the trip to the house much easier.
“It was fun,” she said. “A lot of people could fit in it, so it was cool.”
LSA junior Jordan Nelson, another AGD member, agreed.
“It’s very relaxing and luxurious,” she said. “It’s a nice little ride early in the morning with heat and AC.”
DTD plans to provide the bus for the next home game against Wisconsin, but they’re not sure if they will continue running the service once the weather cools down.