September 15, 2008

Cornellians, Ithacans Break World Record In Greek Week Event

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“Records were made to be broken” is the new motto for Cornell’s Greeks, who broke the Guinness World Record for the most people to carry a baton 100 meters in a continuous relay. The Greek Relay from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday marked the conclusion of Cornell’s annual Greek Week, which is meant to bring together all of the Greek chapters for days of fun, games and camaraderie.
[video:node=31703] Among the requirements for world record status is that the event must have a certain number of witnesses sign off on the completion of the world record. Lauren Wein ’09 of Pi Beta Phi Sorority is one of these witnesses; she had to be present for the entire relay.
“I’m living off popcorn and Insomnia cookies,” Wein said. “But, it’s a great way to bring the Ithaca community and Cornell students together, have fun and raise some money for a good cause.”
While a Greek community initiative, this opportunity to be part of history was open to the public. Scott Rush, a Tompkins County resident as well as former Cornell ROTC faculty, saw an advertisement at his daughter Nova’s elementary school in Fall Creek and thought it would be a nice way to spend their Saturday.
“It’s something to do on a rainy, overcast day,” Rush said. “And how many other times do you get to be a part of a world record?”
Rush thought that the University should have made this event mandatory for ROTC, which would ensure the new record’s success. World record aside, the relay was part of Greek Week efforts to serve the community by raising money for the United Way of Tompkins County.
“This year’s Greek Week has been very service oriented,” said Greg Schvey ’09, president of the InterFraternity Council. “Greeks helped collect 3,000 to 3,500 cans for a can drive to help the United Way of Tompkins County. There were women in tears.”[img_assist|nid=31709|title=Sign me up|desc=Nate McMahon ’11, Jess Powers ’11 and Barbara Linnehan ’10 check students in during Greek Week.|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
For every leg of the relay completed, Capital One and Student Management Corps promised a dollar each to the United Way. Greek Week has not only helped surrounding community, but it has also strengthened the bonds within the Greek community itself.
“I like the unity of it,” Hannah Jurkowicz ’11 of Alpha Phi said. “At least for my own house, we really bonded while getting ready for each event. It’s also fun that they’re tying in a world record into it.”
For the seniors, this relay does not just mark the end of Greek Week, but also the end of their last Greek Week. Former S.A. President and Sun columnist C.J. Slicklen ’09 was the 400th runner in the relay. Having been a part of previous Greek Weeks, Slicklen said he was proud of this year’s success.
“I’m really excited to be here,” Slicklen said. “I’m very impressed with Greek Week. It keeps getting better and better each year.”
Many feel the positive effects from the relay and Greek Week are numerous. For Rob Nitkin ’09 of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, the relay was simply about having a good time.
“If it’s there’s one thing the Greek community knows, it’s Guinness,” Nitkin said just before running his 100 meters.