Sigma Chi’s SigSuit

Elissa Sanci

After a night of gowns, swimsuits and performances, sophomore Victoria Rizzuto was named winner of SigSuit Monday, Nov. 11.

Photo Provided by Delta Phi Epsilon
Photo Provided by Delta Phi Epsilon

SigSuit, Sigma Chi Fraternity’s annual philanthropy event, is a beauty pageant where the women of he University of New Haven campus compete in four different rounds to be crowned winner.Each contestant was required to raise a minimum of $100 to participate in the contest, and all proceeds went to Sigma Chi’s philanthropy, the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Children’s Miracle Network is a children’s charity organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues. The Children’s Miracle Network has been Sigma Chi’s philanthropy since 1986.

The 12 contestants raised $2,575.44 in total. Many different groups throughout campus were represented through the contestants, including Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Phi Epsilon and the Army ROTC, among others.

Christina Rodriguez and Dean Bandong, the MCs for the night, set the tone for the night, creating a laid-back and fun environment for the crowd in Dodds Theater. Guest judges included Patrick Kelland, former Undergraduate Student Government Association President, Kaitlin Rohonczy, former Sigma Chi Sweetheart, and Scott Kazar, the founder of the Lambda Epsilon chapter of Sigma Chi at UNH.

Held on Veteran’s Day, SigSuit was USA Themed, with the last two rounds centered on America. In the first round of the competition, the contestants, escorted by a Sigma Chi brother, showed off their formal wear. In the next round, contestants showcased their confidence as they walked across stage in their swimsuits.

The third round, “Support the Troops,” had the girls create military-inspired outfits, and each contestant was asked where the inspiration for her outfit came from. In the fourth and final round, named “Stars and Stripes,” contestants wore American themed outfits. Some of the outfits included the Statue of Liberty, the Bald Eagle and Uncle Sam.

Photo Provided by Delta Phi Epsilon
Photo Provided by Delta Phi Epsilon

Following round four was the quiz portion of the evening. Bandong and Rodriguez asked contestants various questions relating to the history of America. Bandong described this portion of the contest as “a little bit of common sense mixed with don’t be dumb.”

Rachael Wurst, a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon, placed second and Sarah Alley, also a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon, placed third.

“I think the event went really well, and I’m really happy we raised over $2,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Richard Rotella, a brother of Sigma Chi.

Winner Victoria Rizzuto raised the most money of all the contestants, collecting $556, something that Kazar said he’d be looking for as he judged, along with who had the most passion for the cause.

The UNH Dance Team, Johnny Empire and the 5-6-7-8 Dance Team, as well as special guest, Boyz 2 Yen, performed throughout the night. Boyz 2 Yen, a group of Sigma Chi brothers of Asian decent, was created by Bandong, and much to the crowd’s amusement, they lip-synced to a shortened version of “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys.

The ladies participating in SigSuit all had their reasons for participating, whether it was to support the brothers of Sigma Chi or for other, more personal reasons.

“I love helping people as much as I can and when I heard there was an opportunity to give back to the Children’s Miracle Network, I couldn’t resist,” Elizabeth Rieger, a contestant of SigSuit, said. “An amazing friend of mine was effected by cancer and has inspired me to be a part of something bigger then myself whenever there is an opportunity presented.”