More than 3,000 active members of Cal Poly’s fraternities and sororities are scheduled to participate in Greek Week at the start of next month. Houses will face off May 4-11 through 11 in three different categories of events in hopes of winning the Greek Week trophy, winners’ shirts and bragging rights for the rest of the year.
Greek Week committee representative for the Sigma Pi fraternity, Dean Wampler, said houses will compete in beach day activities, sports and philanthropy events to accumulate points for their teams. Teams typically consist of one sorority, two fraternities and one cultural fraternity, and points are awarded for participation or for winning events.
Beach Day will take place at Pismo Beach and will include a sand volleyball tournament, limbo, tug-of-war and an obstacle course. Sports include arm wrestling, sumo wrestling, basketball and more.
Alpha Phi sorority president Rachel Savas said Alpha Phi members tend to take the soccer event extremely seriously.
“My favorite event is by far the soccer tournament because it brings back fond memories of playing in high school,” Savas said. “The majority of us played soccer and have competitive edges.”
One of Greek Week’s major pillars is philanthropy. Savas said throughout the week, teams will volunteer at local philanthropies such as Growing Grounds and the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter. Last year, a restaurant fundraiser was held at The Habit Burger Grill and all proceeds were donated to the homeless shelter.
“Philanthropy plays a pivotal role in greek life as a whole,” Savas said. “This year, we are planning on expanding this fundraiser to encompass multiple businesses on multiple days in order to donate even more and maybe add another beneficiary.”
A new philanthropic event that will be incorporated this year will be “like wars.” Savas said in this competition, five to 10 local philanthropies which are not already beneficiaries of Greek Week philanthropic efforts, will compete for donations by submitting a picture representing their organization to the Greek Week 2013 Facebook page. The picture that receives the most “likes” by the end of the competition will receive a check donation from Cal Poly Greek Week.
Wampler said events are always pretty similar to the previous year, but there are some new events or new ways that the competition is organized. In addition to “like wars,” the Greek Week committee is looking to add paint wars, a canned food drive bowling competition and a SLO Donut Company donut eating contest.
“Greek Week is important because you get to meet and make connections with other greeks who you may not have before,” Wampler said. “Since the teams are different every year, you get to meet new people every year.”
History junior and Chi Omega member Emmalee Austin said she takes pride in her chapter for winning Greek Week 2012. She said the purpose of the week is to bring together the greek community and build friendships.
“I loved cheering on my sisters during ‘lip sync’ last year,” Austin said. “Each Greek Week team performs a song and dance that they choreograph themselves and it’s usually to a theme.”
Savas said Greek Week is crucial for Alpha Phi because it allows its house to unite and fight together for a great cause.
“Our house thrives in these situations, and our pride and love for greek life, and each other in general, really shines through,” Savas said. “Greek Week is important for greek life because it builds camaraderie and strengthens our relationships with other houses, which consequently fortifies the power of greek life as a whole.”
The Greek Week mission statement composed by the Greek Special Events Council of 2013 states the council is “dedicated to creating and fostering an environment of healthy competition, mutual friendship and respect.” Events are meant to showcase greek involvement to demonstrate unity and philanthropic value to the local community.