Congratulations are in order to Lambda Chi Alpha and Delta Phi Epsilon for continuing their Greek Week Dynasty. They, along with the other competing fraternities and sororities, helped raise over $19,516 for United Cerebral Palsy. They also raised 730 pints of blood, as well as 107 platelet donations. While these impressive philanthropic achievements should be recognized and applauded, mainly due to the significant increase in money raised-only $10,000 was raised last year-there comes a point where one must question whether too much emphasis is placed on winning, and not enough is placed on the good that is being done, which is what should be the true purpose of the competition.
The Blood Drive, which benefited the Community Blood Bank, collected donations for four days, seeing just about every Greek Week participant do his or her part by donating. The problem, though, is that the fraternities and sororities require-yes, require-that every member give blood. If for some reason they couldn’t, they had to find someone else to donate for them. Thus, many people who shouldn’t have been donating blood, did. There was the fraternity brother who lied about when he got his nipples pierced. And there was the sorority sister who was so freaked out by needles-yet still forced to donate-that she passed out not after donating, but after getting her finger pricked. The issue here is not that people shouldn’t be donating blood; it’s that they shouldn’t be forced or required to donate blood. Bonus points were given to groups going on their “efficiency day” as well as to those donating platelets. Something just seems wrong about placing point values on body parts. Imagine how many points you could get for donating a kidney! It got so extreme that people seem to have forgotten that donating blood was a way to save peoples lives, not just a way to get more points for your fraternity or sorority.
One of the, if not the, highlights of Greek week is the infamous Organized Cheer (O-Cheer). This year was no exception, nor was it a disappointment. The fraternities showed off their dancing “skills,” the sororities, their ability to create catchy cheers, and everybody’s ability to entertain. The night wasn’t solely dedicated to entertaining and a removing one’s clothes on stage-there was also a canned food drive. Participants were encouraged to bring food, not to help those who are less fortunate, but instead to get 110 points if your organization brought 50 items. Yet again, the thought as to why you should do these good deeds is over shadowed by the number of points available to get.
Granted, Greek Week is all about getting your fraternity or sorority together for some friendly competition to benefit a good cause, and of course get bragging rights. Yet it’s equally important to look at the root of the event.
So, for the Greeks that participated, take some time to think about the true purposes of Greek Week. It is a time to show dedication to, and have pride in you fraternity or sorority, but more importantly to raise money for a wonderful philanthropy.