Can you take the heat?

By Craig Harriman
On April 15, 2014

The Sigma Alpha Sorority asked contestants, "Can You Take the Heat?", when they held their second annual wing eating contest in the Granite State Room in the Memorial Union Building Monday night.

Contestants battled for the quickest time through several different heats, each attempting to eat eight wings for the best time overall.

The event was the sorority's spring philanthropy event to benefit Heifer International and The Cocheco Valley Humane Society. Proceeds from sold tickets and a bake sale at the event went to benefit these organizations. 

Contestants were given their drink of choice, some choosing milk and some water, but were not allowed to touch it or their napkin until their heat was over.

Havana Asvaraksh, president of Sigma Alpha, celebrated her birthday at the event with her sorority sisters, contestants and a sizable audience.

"Last year was our first contest and it was awesome and so much fun to watch," Asvaraksh said. "It's a wing eating contest because we want to do something fun and we all love Buffalo Wild Wings."

Spencer Black, a computer science major and member of the Phi Mu Delta Fraternity, was alerted by the president of his fraternity of the contest and entered with prior experience.

"I've done the blazing wing challenge twice," Black said referring to the BWW Challenge. "I know what I'm expecting."

Black proved it by winning the contest, finishing in 48 seconds, and was crowned the nights "Wing Nut".

"I just signed up and I'm here for the free wings, free dinner," Black said.

The sorority has worked with Heifer International before, an organization that takes donations and provides all types of cultural animals to families in need all over the world. Heifer also teaches the families how to care for the animals.

Sigma Alpha is a professional agricultural sorority with approximately 70 members.

"We've gotten a bunch of big rush classes recently and we've really expanded," Asvaraksh said. "But we have a lot of seniors heading out this year unfortunately." 

Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market, according to the organization's website.

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Cocheco's mission is to provide quality, compassionate care and shelter to animals, in partnership with educating the community concerning humane animal treatment and welfare, according to the group's website.

"It's new for us to give [Cocheco] money, but we've done a lot of community service with them and we wanted to give them a little more recognition," Asvaraksh said.

Buffalo Wild Wings provided the wings for the event, and ticket holders could present their stub at the end of the event for a wing of their own.

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