Greeks pick honorary sweethearts and Bordeaux beaus for Valentine’s Day

Elizabeth Rothman

Students chosen in secretive process

Brittany Lucido, junior fashion merchandising major, doesn’t have just one sweetheart this Valentine’s Day – she has 54.

Lucido, a member of Alpha Xi Delta, is the sweetheart for the Sigma Chi fraternity.

“There are no specific duties as Sigma Chi’s sweetheart,” Lucido said. “It’s more of an honor.”

Ben Spott, Alpha Epsilon Pi president, said the process fraternities and sororities use to select their respective sweetheart or Bordeaux beau – the male equivalent of a sweetheart – is a secretive one.

“No one knows until they’ve been chosen,” Spott said.

Once a sweetheart or Bordeaux beau is nominated, the chapter discusses its likes and dislikes of the nominee. Every member gets to vote, and sweethearts and Bordeaux beaus are chosen because they spend time with the fraternity or sorority and get along with everyone in the chapter, Spott said.

Sigma Chi member Don Hensman, a junior political science major, has spent back-to-back years as a Bordeaux beau for sorority Alpha Xi Delta.

“It’s not like you ever try to be a Bordeaux beau, but it’s a great way to be acknowledged,” Hensman said. “You just fall into it.”

Though the position lacks specific commitments, the job usually entails helping out with the organization’s events, cooking dinner for the group, household repairs and being a shoulder to lean on.

After a sweetheart or Bordeaux beau is chosen, he or she is allowed to wear the chapter letters, usually in the form of hoodies or T-shirts. Some sweethearts and Bordeauxs even have an official picture hanging on the fraternity or sorority wall.

“Being chapter sweetheart means that the members of the fraternity feel that you are dedicated to their fraternity and uphold their name and values,” said Kaylee Zenovic, junior fashion merchandising major and Alpha Epsilon Pi’s sweetheart. “It’s a big honor to get nominated, let alone picked to be a chapter sweetheart.

Sigma Nu will spend tomorrow cooking breakfast for its sweetheart, Alyssa Sineway, junior fashion merchandising major and Chi Omega member.

“I’m really excited; it’s a great honor,” Sineway said. “I really love these guys, so it’s cool that they thought so highly of me to make me sweetheart.”

Each fraternity and sorority has a unique way of letting its soon-to-be sweetheart or Bordeaux beau know that he or she has earned the honor of representing their chapter.

“When selected, the boys recorded a video singing their sweetheart song and sent it to me all the way to Italy,” said Lucido. “I am flattered that they picked me as their chapter sweetheart. They thought of me while I was in another country, studying abroad.”

Zenovic also got word of her sweetheart status by way of song.

“They came to my chapter meeting and sang to me in front of my whole sorority,” Zenovic said. “It was really special.”

Max Merhar, Sigma Chi member, said his favorite memory as Alpha Phi’s Bordeaux beau was last year’s Christmas party with the sorority.

“Seeing how much the girls cared about their sorority and how much unity they had for each other was amazing,” he said.

Contact Greek life reporter Elizabeth Rothman at [email protected].