Fraternities and Sororities Introduce Greek Week to Colgate

David McKenzie

Fraternity. Sorority. To some unaffiliated students, these sometimes threatening words conjure up images of exclusivity and pretentiousness, popped collars and pompousness. To discourage this negative perception of Greek organizations among Colgate students, all four sororities and all six fraternities have pledged to open their doors to non-Greek students as well as the greater Hamilton community during the week leading up to Spring Party Weekend.

Colgate’s first annual Greek Week — lasting from Sunday, April 22 to Wednesday, April 25 — will feature food, competitions, open houses, charity events, and other fun activities aimed at demolishing the invisible barrier of restrictiveness that is sometimes built between Greek life and unaffiliated students. All proceeds and donations will benefit the Chenango Nursery School in Hamilton.

“Our goals for Greek Week are three-fold,” Phi Delta Theta President and member of the Greek Week planning committee Mark Pettit said, “To unify Greek life at Colgate, to introduce and welcome non-Greek students, and to raise money for local charities.”

Pettit, along with Pan-Hellenic Council President senior Sarah Duffy, Director of Greek Letter Operations Tim Mansfield, members of the Inter-Fraternity council and representatives from each Greek house have been meeting for two months to brainstorm and organize strategies designed to showcase the positive spirit of Greek life at Colgate.

Former President of Gamma Phi Beta and planning committee member senior Megan Esch sees Greek Week as an opportunity to boost overall perceptions of Greek life on campus.

“Greek life at Colgate is definitely not on its way out the door,” Esch said. “The students and faculty involved in Greek life at Colgate are making positive strides toward ensuring that our motivations and traditions as members of the Greek community are well-served and likewise that we are serving the community at large.”

Greek Week kicks off Sunday, April 22 at 11 a.m. with an opening brunch where members of the planning committee will discuss the objectives of the three-day event and go over schedules. This will be followed at 2 p.m. by a massive barbeque opened to the whole school and community.

Monday will feature a kickball tournament on Whitnall Field sponsored by Sigma Chi and Phi Kappa Tau, as well as a car wash put on by Beta Theta Pi and Kappa Kappa Gamma.

On Tuesday, Theta Chi will hold its annual pizza-eating contest, co-sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta. There will be participants from all Greek houses, and anyone else interested is encouraged to join for a small entry fee. The hungriest competitors will receive gift certificates to Hamilton’s finest eateries.

Gamma Phi Beta will be sponsoring the final Greek Week event on Wednesday: a “Greek Sing” at 8:00 p.m. at the Palace Theater. The event invites all ten chapters on campus to create and perform their own song that promotes their chapter’s strengths, quirks, and other distinguishing characteristics. A professional rapper known as DJ Skrilla will be on hand to perform some of his original songs and emcee the event.

Unfortunately, at press time, some specific event locations and times were not decided upon by the Greek Week organizers. Students will receive a number of distribution e-mails as April 22 approaches that will outline in more detail the itinerary.