TANK will be non-alcoholicBy Randi L. Rubin
Competitors in this year's annual Spring Weekend speed beer drinking competition, TANK, will not be drinking alcoholic beer, according to Bill Maisel '88, TANK co-coordinator.
Moussey, a non-alcoholic beer beverage made by White Rock Products, Inc., will be consumed instead.
The use of non-alcoholic beer during TANK is a consequence of a Massachusetts State law restricting alcoholic consumption under contest conditions. The non-alcoholic TANK was confirmed after members of the Sigma Chi fraternity, the sponsor of TANK, consulted Associate Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood.
"He was really super, and wanted to see TANK continue as did we," according to Maisel. After meeting with MIT lawyers, Sherwood said that use of alcoholic beer would be impossible, according to Ed Schembor '87, another of Sigma Chi's TANK co-coordinator.
TANK's organizers do not expect the lack of alcohol to drastically hurt the event. "It may not be as popular overall, but we've made it open to everybody," Maisel said. Eligibility is no longer based on the legal drinking age of 20. All students may now participate.
"TANK is a kickoff to the weekend activities of Spring Weekend, and it gets people together," said Mike Cronin '86, a member of the Theta Chi fraternity.
Theta Chi won last year's competition and their five-man team was the first team in TANK's history to finish ten cups of beer in under 30 seconds. They are still willing to compete this year despite the change, Cronin said.
"[Sigma Chi] offered their best alternative," he explained. "If we turned our noses up, what are we saying? That the whole point was just to get drunk?"
Cronin noted that it is no less difficult to quaff non-alcoholic beer than it is to drink the alcoholic version. "As far as speed goes, it will still be carbonated and cold, [which are] the determining factors," he said.
To encourage participation in TANK, Sigma Chi has lowered the registration fee from $15 to $10. Registration will be held in the Student Center from Wednesday, Apr. 24 through Friday, May 3. The competition is scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 3 pm to 6 pm.
White Rock donated 40 cases of Moussey which will limit this year's competition to approximately 60 teams.
Proceeds from the registration fees and the sale of TANK T-shirts and hats have traditionally gone to a charity. Sigma Chi expects to donate $700 to $800 to the Jimmy Fund, a charity for children with cancer, according to Maisel.