Sorority women celebrate community

By Colleen Vest

Panhellenic Pride Week, a celebration of the University’s sorority women and their services to the campus and surrounding community, started Monday with brightly colored T-shirts and an enthusiastic speaker at Foellinger Auditorium.

“Panhellenic Pride Week is a time for the women in the Panhellenic community to show their appreciation and support for sorority life,” said Hillary Teter, junior in Education and Panhellenic vice president for service. “All week we have events that bring the Panhellenic community together.”

The Panhellenic Council and Shi-Ai, a group of sophomores from each chapter, organize Panhellenic Pride Week.

“All week we’re having a hygiene drive that we’re donating to charity,” said Brooke Hurst, junior in LAS, Panhellenic vice president for public relations and adviser for Shi-Ai.

On Monday, the members wore T-shirts displaying each chapter’s letters and attended a speech in Foellinger Auditorium. Speaker Ginny Carroll talked about the gift of sorority life. Carroll is the CEO of inGiNuity, a consulting firm that helps organizations and communities build teams and overcome challenges.

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“Ginny Carroll discussed the importance of our Panhellenic community and the power we have as women,” Teter said.

Carroll spoke about how to get the most out of sorority life during and after college, and added that she is still involved with her sorority and urged the audience to stay active in the Greek community.

Tuesday was “Bucket Night” at the Beverly Cinema 18, 910 Meijer Drive.

“(Bucket Night) gives all of the busy (Panhellenic) women an opportunity to take a break and catch a flick with their friends,” Teter said.

On Wednesday, Shi-Ai will be handing out Valentine candy, and there is skating at the ice rink at 7 p.m.

Thursday, the members will wear philanthropy T-shirts, and on Friday, toiletry items will be collected from each chapter and donated to local women’s shelters, Hurst said.

“Also, discounts are available at various stores and restaurants on campus to those proudly wearing their letters,” Teter said. T.I.S. Bookstore and Bodyworks Massage were two of the places Hurst mentioned.

Hurst said she knows that the Panhellenic Pride Week has been celebrated for the past five years, but it has been more publicized the last couple years. She said she always really likes this week, and this year people seem really excited. It is also a way to get to know the girls from your chapter better, Hurst added.

“During this week, Panhellenic women express their support and pride to be part of such a large, successful and influential community,” Teter said. We can show the non-Greek community and ourselves that even though each chapter is differentiated by their letters, we can still work and spend quality time together and represent our community with pride.”

Jill Lowthian contributed to this report