Cal Poly’s greek life participated in its annual Greek Week, during which different Panhellenic, Interfraternity (IFC) and United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC) chapters teamed up to compete against each other in sporting, community service and fundraising events.
The week started April 28, when greek life members were encouraged to participate in Safer’s “Take Back the Night,” an event raising awareness of sexual and domestic violence.
The next day, greek life members participated in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” where men walked a mile in high heels in an effort to raise awareness about rape, sexual assault and gender-based violence. Greek life made up approximately half of the total participants and was the largest community group to take part in the walk.
Greek Week teams, named after constellations to honor the week’s “Out of This World” theme, were each made up of three or four different chapters.
Each team gained points by winning sporting events and games, having participants at service events and raising money for the week’s beneficiary, Jack’s Helping Hand, which helps children with cancer and special needs who have unmet physical, mental and medical needs in the community.
The week raised $4,250 for Jack’s Helping Hand, through restaurant fundraisers, Lip Sync ticket sales and various games. This was $795 more than last year’s total of $3,455.
Teams also received points for donating cans to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo. In the process, 3,910 cans were donated.
On May 8, Service Day, teams gave a total of 690 service hours to organizations such as Growing Grounds, Dunes Center, Boys and Girls Club, Child Development Resource Center and the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department.
Vice President of Programming for IFC and biomedical engineering senior Warren Chang said that though individual chapters do their own community service and raise money for their own philanthropies during the year, it’s rewarding to see everyone come together for a common goal of service.
“Having one week where everyone is committed to this is what I like to see,” Chang said. “What I’d like to see (in future years) is coming back with bigger and better numbers.”
Vice President of Programming for Panhellenic and communication studies junior Kate Granlund said that Greek Week’s service events and fundraising reminds her of why she joined greek life.
“I think it brings ourselves back to our values,” Granlund said. “It reminds me that this is why I joined greek life, because I’m a part of something so much bigger than myself, and look what we can do together.”
Greek Week came to a close May 9, as Team Leo (Alpha Chi Omega, Sigma Pi and Theta Chi) walked away as Greek Week champions.
Though winning is always fun, USFC Vice President of Greek Relations and sociology junior Catelyn Agbayani said that on top of giving back to the community, Greek Week is really about fostering relationships that may not have otherwise been formed.
“I just liked seeing people participating and enjoying one another,” Agbayani said. “We learned so much from each other in such a small amount of time. During the week, you expand more with other chapters.”
Granlund also said all of Cal Poly greek life ultimately shares the same values.
“Throughout the year we can get focused on social aspects (of greek life) and everything can get borderline surface level,” Granlund said. “This week is an end of the year reminder to forget about those exchanges and forget about those dinners. No matter what organization you’re paired with you can see that this is our chance to come together and do something good.”