October 6, 2015

Multicultural Greek Letter Council Event Showcases Spirit, Diversity

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Sorority and fraternity members of the Multicultural Greek Letter Council held a Yard Show which included performances, music and information in an effort to showcase their unique organizations and bond as a community on Ho Plaza Sunday.

While MGLC holds a formal event called Greek Freak every spring, it has been several years since they held a fall event, according to Mariana Pinos ’16, vice president of programming for MGLC and member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.

“We wanted to do something in the fall semester not as formal as Greek Freak … to still get our names out there and to show the Cornell campus and educate them on what our organizations do, the cultural aspects of our organizations and what makes them unique,” she said.

MGLC President and member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. Andrea Kim ’16 added that the Yard Show was meant to be a “stress-free” event that could bring the Cornell community together. Through this event, Kim said MGLC hopes to “reach all different kinds of communities.”

“This is great for students of color and our organizations’ members to take pride in … but this is open to the community and Ithaca,” she said.

Before the performances began, organization members and other Cornell students chatted around tables covered in posters and apparel representing each organization while a D.J. played music.

Jeffrey Lin ’16, a member of Pi Delta Psi, said the atmosphere was “energetic.”

“That’s the first thing you get as soon as you come through,” he said. “It’s a good time. Everyone’s amped up, everyone loves each other’s company; it’s laughter all around.”

According to MGLC Vice President of Communications Dan Kim ’17, all 14 organizations tabled and nine of them performed. Members of fraternities and sororities from other schools, such as Syracuse University and University of Virginia, also attended Cornell’s Yard Show to support their brothers and sisters.

Each performance highlighted the character of the specific organizations and gave members a chance to use art and dance as a form of expression. The performances included “stepping, strolling and saluting,” according to alpha Kappa Delta Phi member Athena Shea ’16.

“Those are the three main performances many multicultural organizations try to do,” she said. “It’s part of how they express themselves culturally and show a sense of pride for their organization. There’s an overarching meaning to what exactly a step, a stroll and a salute means to each of our chapters, even though our performances look different from each others’. At the end of the day, showcasing our performances to each other helps us feel a sense of unity in the MGLC community.”

According to Andrea Kim, MGLC leaders began working on the details of the Yard Show in May and have been planning the event with organizations’ members ever since. Many of the organizations performing in the Yard Show have been practicing their routines since the start of this semester, Pinos said.

Amy ElSayed ’16, one of the performers who saluted with the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc, said saluting is “something that we do to pay respect to the sisters that came before us and show the audience who we are now.”

“It’s super important to me, it’s a tradition that’s in our chapter and in our sorority nationally,” she said.

Armon Sadler ’17, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said the performances provided “an opportunity for us to show who we are and why we are different from our counterparts.”

“The MGLC organizations were founded upon culture and tradition, part of which includes strolling, saluting and stepping,” Sadler said. “This allowed us to raise awareness for our council, enjoy some nice weather and have some fun during prelim season.”

Pinos said she believes the event was a success.

“I think looking back on it, it went exactly how I wanted it to,” she said.

She said she hopes the council can continue to hold the Yard Show and make it an annual event.

Audience member Kibrett Facey ’16 said she enjoyed the event and the performances.

“I know personally a lot of the people have been practicing for weeks, and it really showed in their performances today,” she said. “They were very entertaining.”

Lin said he is proud of the council’s ability to create a school-wide event.

“This sort of event sums up who we are as a council, it’s hard at the end of the day to get maybe 100 people together, males and females, on a Sunday afternoon, but it just shows the level of commitment that we as organizations have to our council and how we’re all in this together,” he said.