The reality of being a Greek

William Miller of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, left, and Mike Chen of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, right, compete in the pie-eating contest at the Greek Week 2010 opening ceremonies. Swallowing three gummy worms, Chin won the contest. The greeks will compete in other events in accordance with the week's "reality tv" theme, such as the "Greek Idol"pageant and "Miami's Best Dance Crew" O-cheer dance competition.

Sunday evening marked the official beginning of one of the university’s most popular weeks with an explosive opening ceremony held at the Rock.

Greek Week is a series of events every year that brings together members from all social Greek fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations Council to raise funds for United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida. Greeks have raised a combined $400,000 over the past 15 years. Last year they raised over $20,000.

Other recipients of the Greek Week endowment are the Community Blood Banks of South Florida, who have  received over 1,000 pints of blood from the Greeks’ efforts.

“Everyone’s spirit and enthusiasm helps to not only increase Greek visibility on campus, but also reconfirm our commitment to doing positive events to help others,” said senior Dallas Short, a Phi Delta Theta brother and co-chair of Greek Week.

The theme this year is “Reality TV,” meaning each event will have characteristics of recent popular reality television shows, but also incorporate current events. Featured events include “Extreme Makeover: Haiti Edition” and “Miami’s Best Dance Crew.” The theme of the week overall is “True Life: I’m Greek,” based on MTV’s show “True Life.”

Greek Week is similar to Homecoming in that there are a series of events over the course of a week that bring everyone together, but senior Devin Murphy, Kappa  Kappa Gamma sister and co-chair of the week,  sees some differences.

“I think this week offers a lot more of a chance for unity amongst all of the social Greek life on campus since all Greeks are involved,” she said.

Homecoming, instead, is an event that is more focused on networking with UM alumni and celebrating the annual Homecoming football game by being spirited.

Each event at both Homecoming and Greek Week is a competition, with a big emphasis on participation. While there is always a first-place winner based on performance, a considerable number of points are given for participation.

“It’s a great way for Greeks to not only compete, but through that competition, get to know each other and show our unity as a Greek community,” Short said.

Greek Week also has its appeal to non-Greek students at UM.

“I was just walking by the patio last year with some friends and saw some really tight dance moves, so I decided to stick around,” senior Try Spano said. “Even though I’m not Greek, it was definitely entertaining to watch.”


Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Blood Drive at the UC Ballrooms sponsored by Blue Bell Ice Cream

Tuesday, 8 p.m. – Greek God and Goddess, School of Communication Courtyard

Thursday, 8 p.m. – Organized Cheer at the Rock

Saturday, 11 a.m. – Greek Olympic Day at the Rock

Colleen Dourney may be contacted at