Greeks compete to help the community

The Greek community hopes to unite everyone on the UM campus by having “A Celebration of Global Proportions,” the theme for Greek Week 2003.
The week is organized by the Association of Greek-Letter Organizations, and all sororities and fraternities are encouraged to participate.
“All of our organizations are centered around giving back to the community,” Mary Clark, Greek Week co-chair, said. “We feel that it is more symbolic to come together as a Greek community to give back to philanthropies in a greater way.”
“Greek Week is an opportunity for the Greek community to come together to benefit local philanthropies and strengthen the Greek bond that unites all of us,” Jessica Gehm, publicity co-chair for Greek Week, said.
According to Gehm, the event is an important part of what being a Greek means.
“It has been in existence at UM for over 50 years as an opportunity for bonding within chapters and the larger Greek community and as an opportunity to help out those less fortunate,” Gehm said. “Almost every University across America and Canada also have a Greek Week of their own.”
According to Gehm, Greek Week has improved significantly since last year.
“The response has been better than in previous years; even independents have tried to participate,” Gehm said.
Last week, a successful blood drive was held in conjunction with the Red Cross.
Every student who donated blood received a shirt saying, “Be stout, Give a pint.”
“The Blood Drive was extremely successful,” Gehm said. “Our numbers always surpass those of Homecoming, but this year we broke our own record and collected 662 units of whole blood and had 54 platelet donors.”
As part of the celebrations, Mike Johnston, former Student Government president, was crowned Greek God. Johnston, a Pi Kappa Alpha brother, performed a step show in front of over 400 people in the Rat to win the honor.
“I was really excited to win,” Johnston said.
Greek Week has a different meaning for each individual who participates.
“First and foremost it is about philanthropy,” Steve Priepke, senior and Sigma Alpha Epsilon [SAE] president, said. “SAE is just back on campus this year and it’s fun because we got to know a lot of people.”
Other participants feel differently.
“It’s an avenue for us to show our superiority over everyone,” Michael Lodge, sophomore and Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, said.
The organizers are optimistic about the upcoming events.
“The Dance-a-Thon is coming up Saturday,” Gehm said. “We hope to break our record of raising $9,000 from last year.”
Greek Week continues tonight with the Mystery Event at 6 p.m. in the UC Ballrooms. The Dance-a-thon and “Say What Songfest” are taking place at the Rat on Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Greek week ends with “Fantasy Fest in Key West” on Sunday, at 3 p.m. in the Rat.

Arnab Basu can be contacted at