This year, Tau Kappa Epsilon had to cancel its famous TKE Fight Night, an annual fundraising event the fraternity has held every year for a decade.
Nick Hoflock, TKE’s president, said the event was canceled as a result of scheduling conflicts.
“Every year we go through a guy in town, and I don’t want to put it all on him, but it was kind of his schedule is hard to work with… he had something come up with the day that we could get into the new basketball arena,” he said.
When the group found out there was a problem with the Sanford Coyote Sports Center schedule, Hoflock said it was already too late to book another venue.
Jody Harnois, the Coyote boxing club coach, said everyone involved is unhappy with the situation.
“I’m pretty disappointed. We’ve been doing this a long time, but there are certain things that can’t be avoided,” he said. “We had a tough time lining up the venue. We were a little late getting started this year.”
Junior Austin Roemeling, a political science and biology double major, has been a part of the Coyote boxing club since his first year at USD.
Roemeling has participated in the past two TKE fight nights, and said he’s disappointed he won’t get to box in the event this year.
“TKE fight night is an amazing event. It’s great we get to raise money for charity, it’s really fun for people to participate and watch,” he said. “I know people who have watched in the past that have really liked it and were looking forward to the next one.”
Roemeling said the club spent the fall semester trying to recruit boxers for the event.
“We were trying to get people interested and coming to practices, because the coach doesn’t like it when people come like a month beforehand because he wants people to know what they are doing and be safe. So first semester we were just trying to recruit people and get them to practice,” he said. “It was pretty early into the second semester, maybe a month or so, and things just weren’t coming together.”
Harnois said part of the scheduling conflict was because they wanted to hold the event in the SCSC.
“The TKEs had their heart set on doing it at the new basketball facility and that just wasn’t going to work out with their schedule. If we’re going to do that we need to start setting it this year,” he said.
Both Harnois and Hoflock said next year’s planning will start earlier.
Harnois said there’s a limited window of time in which they can plan TKE Fight Night.
“There’s only one or two weeks that work if you try to schedule something after Easter, too late. The reason being is that you’ve got finals coming up and everybody’s in a crunch to get those papers done and to cram those last couple weeks for finals and I don’t want to but anybody in that position,” Harnois said. “These guys come in here and the athletes that are coming in here are college students, and the key word there is college. And the most important thing is your education.”
A lack of fighters also contributed to the cancellation of this year’s event, Harnois said.
“The other (obstacle) is that we just didn’t get the participation this year that we’ve had in the past,” he said. “I think some of that was people kind of knew it was up in the air and people weren’t going to commit to that.”
Harnois added that there was no one reason for the cancellation.
“I think I was just a series of unfortunate circumstances,” he said. “But we’ll be back next year.”
Hoflock said TKE will be putting on a different philanthropic event in place of fight night.
“So instead we’re doing Saint Jude’s Jam, and it’s going to be an event at our house,” he said. “There’s inflatable jousting… so the event within the event will be called Jousting for Jude’s and we’ll raise money that way.”
The event is scheduled for April 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.
“What we’re hoping from the student body is that people realize that since we are canceling TKE fight night that we’re hosting another philanthropy event,” Hoflock said. “And knowing that it sucks TKE Fight Night’s not going to be there, but we’ll be hosting a cool event at our house too.”