While you can meet other Greeks at campus-wide events, parties and even sports games, no other social event is quite like a Greek exchange or mixer. An exchange or mixer is a private social event between members of two chapters, usually a fraternity and a sorority but sometimes between two sororities or fraternities. To get members involved and ensure a memorable night, chapters usually pick a theme for their exchange or mixer. We’ve polled our team as well as some Greek communities, and now present (in no particular order) the top 5 exchange/mixer ideas. Enjoy!
Although it requires a bit more planning and forethought, a black light party is a fun and creative way for Greeks to spend a night. Unlike other themes, a black light or rave party requires little to no costume and is pretty cheap for your members (all they need is something white). Hand out highlighters before the party and encourage your members to write (yes, write) on each other. It’s a great ice breaker between chapters and the writing will show up under the black lights. Glow sticks are also easy party favors but a bit more costly then highlighters. Just remember: to have a fun black light party, you’ll need black lights! Talk to the venue ahead of time to make sure they’ll allow the lights or, if you have the mixer at your house, be sure to install the lights beforehand.
Definitely a theme for the more out-going chapters, anything but clothes is, literally, anything but clothes. By far, this is one of the most creative themes out there for both sororities and fraternities. From skirts made out of bubble wrap to “shirts” configured from police warning tape, seeing what everyone will wear is half the fun of this party. While this theme is both creative and inexpensive (two aspects your members are sure to welcome), be cautioned that, because of the home-made nature of the clothes, apparel tends to be lost. So remind your chapter that, although the rule is “anything but clothes”, boxers or briefs, panties and bras are strongly suggested.
Using popular trends and classic themes for your mixers and exchanges is a great way to get your members interested and involved. An easy way to do this is to use movies. For example, the movie “Tropic Thunder” is perfect for an army theme, the “Rocky” movies for a boxing theme, and “Spiderman” for a superhero theme. You can also use the movie itself as the theme of the party, just make sure there is enough costume possibilities for both guys and girls. Having trouble thinking of a movie to use? Try some of the classics like “Scarface”, “Top Gun” or “Grease”, or more current movies such as “300”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, or “High School Musical”.
Cops and Robbers
The classic theme that never seems to be forgotten or overused, cops and robbers always guarantees a fantastic party. Great for both fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, cops and robbers allows for creative costumes that are fun and inexpensive. Additionally, the popularity of police and inmate halloween costumes makes it easy for your members to reuse their costumes. The other aspect that makes this theme so popular: the accessories. From plastic handcuffs to shiny police badges and fake guns, everyone will agree that accessories make the the costume, as well as great photo ops and memorable nights.
Yes, this sounds like a weird idea but it’s actually one of the most enjoyable themes we’ve seen in a while. For a “chapters choose” exchange or mixer, fraternity brothers choose costumes for sorority sisters (and vice versa), and then the members randomly pick their costumes. To make this work, both chapters can decide on a theme beforehand (celebrities, professionals, etc.) or just set guidelines for what costumes they can choose (no strippers, hookers, etc.). As some members can be very picky, the best way to dole out the costumes is either randomly (drawing from a hat), or assigned by an executive member. Additionally, have both chapters add in a few extra costume options in case a member has a problem with whatever they draw. Finally, another option for the “chapters choose” theme is for the chapter executives to think of couples, and then give the male parts to the fraternity and the female parts to the sorority. That way, at the exchange or mixer, each fraternity brother and sorority sister will be looking for their other half. Examples of couples include doctor and nurse, police and inmate, adam and eve, and even ketchup and mustard (yes, the table condiments). This is a great option to get your chapters to mingle and socialize, and especially helpful for members who are less-social than others.
As we acknowledge that the “chapters choose” idea can be a bit confusing, here’s a quick example of how it works:
A fraternity and sorority decide to have a “chapters choose” mixer with the theme of professionals (this means any professional job or position). At meeting, the fraternity brothers spend 10 minutes picking costumes for the sorority such as secretary, doctor, police woman, and lawyer. In the same way, the sorority sisters pick costumes for the fraternity brothers such as construction worker, boxer, pimp, and lifeguard. The chapters exchange their costume ideas and the following week, each fraternity brother and sorority sister picks their costume idea out of a hat and arrives to the event as a secretary, boxer, lawyer, and pimp.
This post was generously provided by ChapterBoard.