Greek week switches up teams to promote chapter interaction

By Collette Janae-Buck, Contributing Writer

Comprised of team events ranging from football and synchronized swimming to a relay-for-life charity event, the EWU Greek community’s annual Greek Week celebration kicks off today with an opening ceremony outside Showalter Hall.
Originally, Greek Week was held as a friendly competition between chapter houses, the ending ceremony resulting in one overall women’s chapter winner and one overall men’s chapter winner. However, according to EWU senior and event committee co-chair Brenna Healy, Greek Week teams are being arranged a little differently this year.

“In the past it’s been each organization competing by themselves against the other chapters with an overall men’s winner and an overall women’s winner,” said Healy. “Instead, for this year, we are splitting up the chapters into four teams or groups in an attempt to encourage a broader sense of interaction between the Greek chapters.”
These four teams of Greek chapter affiliates will then compete in sporting, philanthropy and academic events to gain points for their team. The team with the most points at the end of the week wins the title of Greek Week champions instead of the old singular men and women’s chapter house titles.

Healy said the changes were done with the effort of bringing together the Greek community in mind. “I think at times there can be a rigid sense of competition between chapters,” said Healy. “The way Greek Week is organized this year just encourages members to get to know one another outside their chapters, work together and have fun while being involved.”
Despite the change in teams, the events for the week will remain the same as past years, only a few events changing for the usual line up. Structure building contests, a co-ed slow-pitch softball match, men and women’s football, a trivia game and paintball are just some of the events students will compete in.

Teams will also be participating in three philanthropy events, two of which count toward their overall Greek Week score.
Mayhem, a step and stroll show put on by both the Diversified Greek Council and the National Panhellenic Council, and the Lip Sync are Greek Week events geared toward the week’s official philanthropy: Alex’s Lemonade Stand. All proceeds from student ticket sales for the events will be donated to help support the fight against childhood cancer.

“Purchasing tickets for Mayhem and the Lip Sync in the bookstore helps to facilitate donations for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Up to $1,000 in donations and ticket sales will be matched by Northwestern Mutual Bank,” Healy said.
A third event, Relay for Life, will be the official philanthropy event of Greek Week’s Service Saturday. Organized in part by EWU senior and Alpha Xi Delta sister Kait Dessin, the Relay For Life run has not been held in Cheney since 2010 due to lack of interest in past years.

Instead of the teams being co-ed like the other events within Greek Week, Dessin said individual houses will be fielding teams with their own chapter members to compete in the relay. Both chapter teams and individual participants from the teams will then set goals for how much they desire to raise for the philanthropy.
“We encourage each person to raise at least $100, but your team also has a separate amount goal that they want to raise. All the donations then to go Relay for Life which helps to pay for amenities provided to cancer patients,” said Dessin. “If your team reaches a certain amount you also receive thank you gifts for your participation.”

Dessin said out of all the events being held for Greek Week Relay for Life, an event which she helped bring to EWU through an experience with her public relations class, is the one she’s most excited for.
“I got involved with it through my PR [public relations] class,” said Dessin. “We were working with our adviser who is the community manager at Cheney’s West Plains Chamber of Commerce. Working with them helped me get involved with Relay for Life, an event idea which I was eventually able to take to the Greek Week, committee and have it chosen as the official philanthropy for Service Saturday 2016.”

Both Dessin and Healy said they hope Greek students find a sense of community and have fun during the week while getting back to the reason why they joined their organization.
“The year is really stressful with school and all the chapter events,” said Dessin. “You just kind of get trapped into it, but Greek Week is a time to relax and focus on bringing yourself closer to not only the people in your chapter, but those outside your chapter.”
“Everyone’s on the same page and in a good mood, so it just allows you to breathe and enjoy the time you have,” Dessin said.