LOGAN Utah State University students are putting a new spin on an old game.
Beirut or beer pong is a favorite among college students. The objective is to bounce a ping-pong ball from one end of a table into a cluster of cups at the other end. If the ball lands in a cup, the owner of that cup drinks its contents usually, beer.
That's where USU students take exception. On a dry campus with a heavily LDS population, the Aggies play with root beer.
"People are pretty excited about the event," said coordinator Megan Darrington. "We want to make this a tradition at USU."
Campus Recreation Chairman Lance Brown elaborated on why he thinks the game, which students played Friday at the Taggart Student Center, has caught on.
"It's like people here want to look worldly, but they don't want to be worldly," he said. "Living in a Mormon community, students want to push the edge a little."
The event was sponsored by the school's student council and organized by the Associated Students of USU's athletics group. Organizers arranged a bracketed tournament competition, and teams of two with names like Sobriety and A&W came to play.
Even onlookers seemed to enjoy the contests.
"It's good for our student body to relax and help people experience something they normally wouldn't," said Lindsay Hall.
Winners took home T-shirts, gift cards and other prizes.
Brown said he doesn't see Beirut's popularity fading any time soon. The chances that USU's adaptation will make another appearance on campus are good, too.
"I've been around the country, and there are more mocktail parties in Utah than anywhere I've been," he said.