A look into Greek Week

Megan Kuharich

Two women in the front of the Davis Center studio yell “5-6-7-8,” signaling the rest of the group to stand up and prepare for another run-through. Sweat stained the floor as a group of 20 sorority women practice their tightly choreographed dance number to a mash-up of songs in preparation for Greek Week Skit Night. 

Villanova University’s Greek Week kicks off Saturday afternoon with the flag football competition on Austin Field. Greek Week is a week-long event filled with a variety of competitions between the fraternities and sororities on campus. This year’s Greek Week is jam-packed with old favorites, such as tug of war, basketball and skit. In addition, a PB&J sandwich-making contest was added to this year’s agenda. 

 “In the past, we’ve done an obstacle course and a watermelon-carving contest on the last day,” Greek Week committee chairwoman Joanna Chalsen said. “However, this year we wanted to try and incorporate giving back to the community and fundraising, so were going to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making contest and donating the sandwiches to a local food cupboard.”

This year’s Greek Week committee emphasized its desire for all Greek Life organizations to focus more on the philanthropic characteristics of Greek Week rather than its competitive nature, Chalsen said.

“All of the money raised during Greek Week goes to North Light Community Center,” Chalsen said. “From a statistical standpoint, a representative from North Light told me that 60 percent of the funding needed each year for them is given to them by our Greek Week events and donations.” 

Individual fraternities and sororities seem to be in support of this year’s emphasis on philanthropic events during Greek Week.

“Greek Week is a combination of both philanthropic and competition purposes,” Delta Gamma Greek Week chair Molly McGuinness said. “This year, Order of Omega is striving to put more emphasis on the philanthropic aspect of Greek Week, which I believe is really great.” 

Order of Omega is a national Greek leadership honor society open to members of all Greek letter organizations. Their responsibilities include planning Greek Week annually. 

Furthermore, the committee stressed the inclusion of non-Greeks in the week’s festivities. According to Chalsen, non-Greeks cannot participate in the week’s competition events, but they can cheer on the Greeks as they compete and donate any money they are willing to give as well. 

“We would love if non-Greeks got involved,” Chi Omega Greek Week chair Allie Bradley said. “Especially with the philanthropic side of the week. It would be great to have that many more people contributing and raising awareness for the causes.”

With the emphasis of philanthropic events and inclusion of non-Greeks in mind, individual fraternity and sorority Greek Week chairs go about their business as usual. Each fraternity and sorority picked a theme to advertise during the week.  Some of the themes this year include “DG State of Mind,” “Chi O Invasion” and “1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.” Most of these themes are developed by the individual Greek Week chairs, presented to the rest of the chapter during a weekly meeting and put to a vote.

“We wanted an America-related theme without overtly making America the central theme,” Sigma Phi Epsilon Greek Week chair Joseph Gaule said. 

The themes are normally printed on t-shirts and utilized during a skit performance. For this event, each fraternity and sorority is asked to create a dance and perform it on stage. A panel of judges chosen by the Greek Week committee chooses a fraternity winner and sorority winner at the end of the event. 

“I would say that skit is the event people care most about and put a lot of effort into,” McGuinness said. “Everyone’s skits are always so creative and so fun to watch.”

While some organizations prosper during this competition, other groups find it difficult to get members to participate. 

“It’s hard to find brothers across all grades that are willing to dance on stage in front of so many people,” Gaule said. “It takes a special kind of person to be that confident.”

With Greek Week underway, there is sure to be great competition and tons of excitement. Be sure to check out these events to see what is in store.