Greek Week officially begins today with opening ceremonies at the Rathskeller and is expected to have the highest level of Greek involvement in recent memory, said Jorge Lima, Greek Week co-chair and Alpha Sigma Phi brother.
“Just come out and watch,” Lima said. “We have every fraternity and sorority out doing something this year. It says ‘Greek Week,’ but we want it to encompass the whole campus.”
Greek Week unofficially began with the blood drive, which ran Monday to Thursday and benefits the South Florida Blood Bank.
“It’s a way for Greeks to come together to show the community what we can do. We really want to prove the negative hype about Greeks untrue and benefit the community,” Lima said.
Other organizations to benefit from the fundraiser include Families of Freedom-an organization that helps send children of those who died in the Sept. 11 tragedy to college-and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Greek Week’s traditional benefactor, said Mary Clark, Greek Week co-chair and Kappa Kappa Gamma sister.
“We have usually raised anywhere from five to ten thousand dollars for UCP,” Clark said. “We hope it’ll be more this year, what with all of the fraternities and sororities participating.”
This year’s theme is “A Night at the Movies,” each event carrying the theme of a different movie.
The ceremonies, scheduled to begin today at 4 p.m., are coupled with the Greek God and Goddess competition, as aspiring Zeuses and Athenas alike compete for Greek immortality.
“The competition has a resume section, to see what they’ve done around campus, a philanthropy question to test their knowledge, a talent section and a final question,” Lima said.
“The Greek God and Goddess will win a 21-day trip to Europe,” Clark said.
The opening ceremonies and the God and Goddess competition will carry an Austin Powers theme.
“The Rat will be decorated all shagadelic,” Lima said.
And what Grecian event would be complete without a taste of the athletic Olympiad that the Ancient Greeks were so famous for?
Olympic Day, scheduled to kick off on Saturday on the intramural fields at 11 a.m., will have a “Field of Dreams” theme.
“Olympic Day will have football, rowing, relay races, wall climbing, arm wrestling, tug-of-war, pizza eating. It will be a lot of fun,” Lima said.
Six guest speakers will speak to Greeks on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Flamingo Ballroom.
“Three of the speakers are alumni,” Clark said. “It’s going to be a good networking opportunity for older students.”
The talks will deal with Greek life after graduation, Clark said.
Other events include The Patriot themed Organized Cheer on Feb. 27 at 7p.m. on the UC Patio, a Mystery Event slated for Mar. 1 at 7p.m. and a Halloween themed Dance-a-thon/Song Fest on Mar. 2 at 12 p.m. at the Rathskeller.
Greek Week will close on Mar. 3 with its “Night at the Oscars” themed Closing Ceremonies.
A winning fraternity and sorority will be determined by the highest aggregate point total earned throughout the week’s events.
“The philanthropic events are worth the most,” Clark said, “because that’s what Greek Week’s all about.”
The winning fraternity and sorority will be awarded the Greek Week traveling trophy for the year.
“Winning is more of a pride thing than anything else,” Clark said. “It’s more about benefiting the philanthropies.”