Monday, March 15, 2010

The best Greek Week ever!

As March whizzes by, spring break becomes a memory, the weather turns a bit warmer and the sun starts to shine, undergraduate fraternity and sorority students across the country turn their attention to the most important week of the year. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for Greek Week!

In case you could not pick up on the slight hint of sarcasm, I do not actually believe that Greek Week is the most important thing happening in our fraternal world. There are a few things that puzzle me about Greek week:

• Theme and t-shirt design: If I could get back the hours I’ve spent in meetings talking about all of the different variations and merits of themes, as well as the corresponding t-shirt designs, I would be a happy woman. Think about it.

• Competition: Do your organizations on campus compete against each other for a week or longer to win bragging rights for the next year? What do you think that looks like to other individuals on campus? Are they beating down your door to join in the fun? Does this practice build community?

• Hours spent: How much time does the average member spend on Greek Week? Do their academics/sleep/health suffer? How could those hours be spent differently? What if you spent those hours in service? What impact could you have?

• Money spent: What does your chapter invest in Greek Week? Your council? Your entire community? How could you be using that money differently?

• Values displayed: If a non-member, a faculty member, or a community member were to stop by and observe your Greek week events, what would they think? What impression would they walk away with? What values do they see present?

Some fraternity/sorority communities across the country definitely get it right. Others are headed in that direction. They spend their time working together as a unified force to display their values in action and have a positive impact on the local community. Yet, other communities are still having intense discussions about their theme. Which type of community do you have on your campus?


Alex Carrick said...

Thanks for the post. I agree with a lot of things you brought up. I just found this blog and am excited to be following it. You have a new fan at the University of Michigan.


Spenser said...

Great post. This brings up other issues too. Fall recruitment is another example, where presenting values sometimes takes a back seat to frivolity. Maybe not all the time or on all campuses, but even a few instances will result in ugly op-eds in campus newspapers and a darker view of the Greek community on the part of non-Greeks.

I think the point you are making here is that, in general, getting caught up in bigger better faster flashier is appropriate to a point, but not to the point of distraction.

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