Thirteen teams comprised of chapters from the Panhellenic Association, InterFraternity Council and Multicultural Greek Letter Council will participate this week in the 4th annual Greek Week competition. The teams will compete in a variety of athletic and service-related events and festivities from Sept. 12 to Sept. 17, promoting Greek life at Cornell.
Erica Kerman ’07, vice president of programming for Panhel, Sameer Mittal ’07, vice president of programming for the IFC, and Nicole Clark ’06, vice president of programming for the MGLC, are co-chairs of the week’s events.
“Greek Week is a great way to unify the Greek community and celebrate all of our successes over the past year. It’s a week to relax and have fun in a safe environment where everyone is welcome,” Kerman said. “It’s also a perfect way to get the word out to potential new members-freshman and transfer students-and tell them about all of the things we do in the community.”
Greek Week provides a forum for friendly competition alongside a chance for chapters to unite as a council.
“This year, we hope Greek Week will promote tri-council unity. There is so much we don’t know about the chapters in other councils,” said Kerman. “Hopefully this week will foster new relationships between various groups on campus.”
Kerman said the teams were chosen randomly to ensure an “equal playing field.”
“We made sure every Panhellenic chapter had an IFC and MGLC chapter that was the same size as the other teams,” Kerman said.
“We thought that it would be good to change the way the competition works and combine chapters from the three councils to compete with each other all week,” Mittal said. “By combining four to five chapters into teams, new chapters to campus interact with other members of the Greek community as well.”
“The IFC would especially love to emulate the spirit of the Panhellenic chapters. They are much more enthusiastic about Greek Week, and we’d love to step it up this year,” he said.
Greek Week begins this afternoon with a kickoff barbeque and banner competition on the North Campus fields at 4:30 p.m. The week’s other events include a volleyball tournament and Greek Olympics on Tuesday, basketball tournament on Wednesday, Greek Letter/Ribbon day on Thursday, comedian Aaron Karo in the Statler Auditorium on Friday and the Greek day of service and awards ceremony on Saturday.
“The three councils are hopeful to increase the participation of its members this year,” Mittal said. “I want lots and lots of people to come. Participation can be anywhere between 300 to 1000 people, depending on the level of enthusiasm from the chapters.”
“Each year Greek Week has gotten bigger and bigger. We added the banner competition to Monday’s kickoff and a volleyball tournament this year to make the week even more exciting,” he added.
“The basketball tournament had the highest attendance last year and was the most popular. We expect it to be a great hit again,” he said.
Thursday is “Greek Letter/Ribbon day” where students can wear their Greek letters in exchange for Greek Week points and a ribbon supporting various foundations and causes.
“The free ribbons will be distributed on Ho Plaza for all students wearing their Greek letters. This effort will show how the Greek system supports numerous causes and is proud to support them.” Mittal said, “The point of Greek Week is to bring together the entire Greek community incorporating fun, philanthropy, and the rest of the Cornell and Ithaca community.”
The Greek Day of Service uses On Site Volunteer Services to provide projects for each Greek Week team to compete at the end of the week.
There are 10 different projects which call on 10 to 15 volunteers from each team.
“Hopefully, the chapters will send two to three people to collaborate together on a project in Ithaca,” Kerman said.
“Maybe this will spark a friendship between the chapters and eventually they will work together on other philanthropy or service related projects later in the year,” she said. “Hopefully they will want to do co-sponsorships with each other later in the year.”
Freya Bellin ’07, member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, helped sell Greek Week T-shirts on Ho Plaza last week.
“We helped promote the events and sell T-shirts to members of the Greek community,” Bellin said.
While selling t-shirts, Bellin even met a Tulane University student who was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
“She was immediately drawn to our Greek Week table and talked to us about becoming involved in the Greek system here at Cornell,” Bellin said. “This just shows how important the Greek community is, bringing together a group of diverse, enthusiastic students.”
Archived article by Allison Markowitz
Sun Staff Writer