As I was browsing Twitter this week, I came across an unfamiliar face in the UW-Madison community. Member of the Phi Alpha Fraternity — notorious for excessive drinking and leaving mounds of trash on the frozen lake after dartys (as well as being completely made up). Tanner Smith left a tweet that piqued my interest: “Listen. If you abolish Greek life, who’s gonna do the dirty work of making Madison objectively worse? This city needs us.”
I set out to discover more about the mystery gentleman. Reaching out on Twitter DMs I first extended a business opportunity and a writing position here at the almanac.
After assuring me that he was far too busy with hazing pledges, Smith allowed me a brief interview to give us a glimpse at what must be one of the most generic white guys at UW-Madison.
Smith is a “seventh year” in “personal finance with a certificate in bartending.” A true jack of all trades if you will.
When asked if he preferred the oceans or mountains, Smith asserted that it’s “Gotta be the ocean. You throw beer bottles in and you get fish back. That's my type of exchange. Pops is a businessman; I know a deal when I see one.”
Then we dove into the really important questions: Boxers or briefs? “Boxers. Gotta let that thang swang, if ya know what I'm sayin.”
Phi Alpha’s favorite panhellenic member and pong partners were the coveted sisters of “Delta Delta Delta. Easy to remember. And hey, I've always been a fan of DDDs.” Although he assured me that the ideal party would be “A Halloween party with all of Alpha Phi and me. Just me.”
As spring is finally returning, as does the elusive darty szn, when asked if he had to choose between that and night ragers he answered “Darty. no question.” Going on to say that “My father, and his father before him, and his father before him, and his father before him all strongly believed in getting trashed before the sun hits its zenith. I'm just here to carry on tradition.”
Despite the warming weather, many are still concerned about the risks of open gatherings. Smith seemed confused by my addressing this in asking him what his favorite covid precaution is, to which he responded: “What are you talking about?”
When asked if he at least planned on getting the vaccine, Smith said, “That's a decision that'll be kept between me and the brothers. We appreciate you respecting our privacy at this time.”
Finally, I asked Smith what he would most like our dear readers to know about Phi Alpha.
“I just wanna show the city of Madison that Greek life isn't all bad. We get a lot of hate on this platform, and I don't think it's fair. One day, I hope we can all come together and ignore the sexism, racism, and classism and focus on the good things. Like selling hot dogs. For the kids, yanno?”
A true Madisonian hero. To reach out for business inquiries with him — or his dad — you can find him on Twitter @sidney_gooch.