Hats off this morning to the gang at George Washington University's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. They have proven that, beneath all the goldfish-eating contests and the water fights, fraternities possess a social conscience.

Actually, what SPE possessed first was a mound of sand. Six tons of it, to be exact. Spread four inches thick across the back yard of the frat house at 2002 G St. NW.

Ed Cuccias was the guy who arranged this. A GW senior, Ed got the brilliant idea this summer that September's annual SPE rush party should have a beach theme. So he went and bought $200 worth of fine, whitish sand from a company in Northern Virginia.

The party was a big hit, according to Ed. Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin didn't make it, but about 100 other people did. Many wore bathing suits, sunglasses, suntan lotion, the whole thematic bit -- even though half the party was at night. There was even a lifeguard on a perch who doubled as the deejay.

Came the next morning, though, and 131 cubic feet of sand still lay in the back yard. Cuccias, said his brothers, you got it here, you get it out of here.

Ed proceeded to prove that his parents hadn't sent him to college for naught. Who uses sand? Hmmmm. Let's see. Maybe a playground?

Ed's first call was to Earl Elliott, an administrator for the D.C. Recreation Department. Amazing that you called, said Elliott. We were just wondering how we were going to fill the sandboxes up at Lafayette Playground in Northwest.

All you have to do is come pick it up with your shovels and trucks, said Ed.

We'll be there, said Earl.

If only physics were this easy.