The fifth annual Greek Week begins today, featuring festivities and events intended to promote a positive attitude towards fraternity and sorority life at Cornell.
The events were organized and co-sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association Council and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council chapters.
12 teams comprised of chapters from all three councils will participate in the week-long competition. Each chapter may win points through participating, attending and winning events, buying t-shirts and volunteering throughout the week.
Lance Polivy ’08, VP of Programming for the IFC, said that the week has three main goals, “to unify the Greek chapters, to show off the best aspects of the Greek system, and ultimately, to have fun.”
Greek Week begins today with a philanthropy carnival with popcorn, cotton candy and carnival games on Ho Plaza. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tompkins County Public Library.
A blood drive will also be held in the Straight.
Polivy said, “[We are] asking people to do direct service, like giving blood, to impact other people’s lives. We want to give back and this is a direct way to make an impact that is palpable to the community around us.”
Polivy expects to see displays of team-wide pride.
“I think you’re going to see students promoting their chapter, while also working together to help out on the team level,” he said.
The co-chairs of Greek Week are encouraging people from all chapters to work together.
Jaime Sackett ’07, VP of Programming for Panhel, said, “We made an effort to put chapters together who were already friendly, to shoot for increased participation.”
She added, “We wanted to make it easy for people to participate. The more people who show up, the more likely they will win. We give out points of spirit and enthusiasm too.”
Maria Jaramillo ’07, VP University and Community Relations for the MGLC, said she hopes for an increased MGLC involvement during this year’s Greek Week.
“We want to encourage people with different interests and backgrounds from all of our organizations to come out,” she said. “It’s great that members of all different types of organizations can enjoy the activities and see what being Greek is about. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, your background, if you’re male or female, or what house you are in. In the end we’re all Greek for the same reasons: to enrich our community.”
Polivy said that Greek Week even fosters camaraderie between chapters of competing teams.
“Although [Greek Week] may be a bit competitive, if you face off against someone in a wings eating contest, you won’t exactly have a great amount of animosity against them. You’ll have a blast instead, seeing who can eat a half pound of wings the fastest,” he said.
Sackett said that there is also a heavy recruitment aspect to Greek Week.
“We are trying to do more on North Campus in order to get freshmen to see that Greeks are more than just parties on Friday and Saturday nights,” she said. “If we do an event on North and all of the freshmen see Greek Week banners and upperclassmen wearing shirts with Greek letters on them, they will stop by and see what we’re about. I think its going to leave them with a solid impression of who we are and what we love.”
The winner of Greek Week is determined by a points system based on attendance and how well each team performs in the competitions.
The Week will conclude at the home football game Saturday night, where the winner will be announced during halftime.
“We’re trying to support Cornell athletics by asking people to come to the game to find out who wins Greek Week, while supporting the football team as well,” Sackett said. “We’re reaching out to different parts of the C.U. community. This year, we’re ending Greek week with a bang.”