Greeks raise $20k for charity

by Staff

Unity was the one word most San Diego State Greeks used to describe the goal of Greek Week. The week, an annual philanthropic fundraising event, is one of the few times a year that all four Greek councils come together for a single cause.

The Interfraternity, Panhellenic, National Pan-Hellenic and United Sorority and Fraternity Councils selectedthe non-profit group Dream Street as this year’s beneficiary. The organization provides summer camp programs for children with chronic or life-threatening diseases.

Last night, the Greek community presented the organization with a $20,000 check – the first installment of the councils’ donation – during the Greek Week final ceremony, appropriately titled “Unity Night.”

In his sixth year overseeing the event, Greek Week Advisor Troy Bartels said his experience helps to guide the executive board.

“The whole week lets people know that Greeks are a force on this campus,” Bartels said. “It takes time and patience to get through the process, but I’ve seen the progression year after year, and I help (the board) decide what works and what doesn’t.”

One event that has worked each year is the talent show competition – a chance for Greeks to showcase their dancing abilities before large crowds. Hundreds of students enjoyed the show, a combination of choreography, costumes and lip-syncing, held Friday night at the Open Air Theatre.

Forty sororities and fraternities were randomly assigned into eight teams denoted by different colors: blue, red, green, purple, black, gold, silver and orange. The team arrangements, carried over from Homecoming pairings, serve to foster intercouncil relations for the week, said Bennett Ball, talent show chair.

With noisemakers in hand, hundreds of Greeks flooded the Open Air Theatre. The sea of students wore solid-colored shirts denoting particular team alliances.

As united as the councils were throughout the week, competitive natures flared during events.

“I was cheering for the gold team all the way,” said Fiona Ho, a member of USFC sorority Upsilon Kappa Delta. “Even if we didn’t win the talent show, I still think we were the loudest.”

The purple team took home overall talent show honors.

Ball, whose sorority, Pi Beta Phi, was a part of the purple team, said it was mostly friendly competition.

“Of course everyone wants their team to win,” Ball said, “but in the end, we’re just excited to see each other perform.”

The time, effort and heart of each team shows on stage, she said.

The week was filled with friendly competition, including the pie-eating and can-stacking contests of Thursday’s Carnival Day, the talent show and closing Greek game events on Sunday in Clayton Park.

“It’s pretty competitive, but it’s not really cut-throat,” said Leo Alo, a member of USFC fraternity Alpha Psi Rho. “It’s all in fun.”

More than anything else, the week provided bonding experiences for the entire Greek community, Alo said.

Kinesiology freshman Lauren Koeller, who actively participated in the pie-eating contest and talent show, said her first Greek Week experience was amazing.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Koeller, a member of Alpha Chi Omega. “This whole week just brought me so much closer to my sisters and so many other people.”

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