Beer Blasts - 1980s & 90s

The beer blasts of the 60s and 70s were very different than the more recent blasts.  Changes in the drinking age caused a series of changes to blasts, with them ending completely in 1993. For more photos visit the Beer Blast album on the Potsdam Greeks United Facebook page.
September 13 1980 at AXP with Zeta: "Blasting from A to Z"
In 1980 the town of Potsdam first discussed banning beer blasts.  Village residents, fraternity and sorority members turned out to express their opinions at a meeting.  Clarkson's Inter-Fraternity Council proposed changes to beer blast permits including a maximum sound level of 100 decibels at 150 feet, having the sponsor provided at least 12 people to patrol the property perimeter at the end of the blast to control behavior of departing attendees, not advertising the amount of alcohol available, offering an adequate amount of non-alcoholic beverages, informing neighbors 48-hours in advance that a blast was going to take place, and holding public meetings each semester to hear feedback and suggestions.  The town voted to ban beer blasts.

Beer Blasts - 1960s & 70s

Beer blasts in the 60s and 70s were a huge part of Potsdam college life.  The drinking age was 18 and even the colleges held events where the beer flowed freely.  Greek Houses from both schools held blasts on their property each semester where the House provided the live music, beer and food, and admission was as low as $2 - for all the beer you could drink.  For more photos check out this album on the Potsdam Greeks United Facebook page.  Check out this post for details on what blasts were like in the 80s & 90s.

Some printed signs from the 70s

Theta Chi Fraternity


Clarkson's fifth fraternity, Kappa Kappa Tau, was founded on April 19, 1949. On May 24, 1952 the brothers became the Delta Sigma chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, becoming the first Clarkson fraternity to affiliate with a national organization. They move into a building on Fall Island. In 1957 the brothers purchased the house at 18 Elm Street.

In 1955 three sophomore members of Theta Chi write and produce a horror film (as a school project) with help from a Humanities professor named Wesley Craven.  The film is about strange occurrences at their fraternity house, which used to be a funeral parlor. They name their film "The Searchers."  In 1984 Mr. Craven writes and directs "A Nightmare on Elm Street." He answered some questions about his time in Potsdam on his website but the content has been removed.  You can now read it on this news article.

On February 10, 1997, Binaya Oja, a 17-year-old freshman at Clarkson, dies on bid night at Theta Chi Fraternity. The fraternity dissolves and 18 Elm Street is purchased by Sigma Pi Fraternity later that year.  In 2010 the house is purchased by the town and demolished.

Kappa Kappa Tau in the 1950 Clarkson yearbook
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