Newsletter aims to unite Greek councils

By Jill Lowthian

The University Greek community has established a new quarterly newsletter that features the activities of all four Greek councils – Black Greek Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and United Greek Council.

The newsletter, called the Agora, will be distributed to Greek chapters and Illinois Greek alumni. The first issue will be published this week.

“Basically it’s just kind of to congratulate and get the word out about what Greeks are doing,” said Brooke Hurst, junior in LAS and vice president of public relations for Panhellenic Council.

Panhellenic came up with the idea of the Agora last year and thought it would be a way to unite the four councils, Hurst said. This effort is reflected in the name Agora, which means “a place of gathering” in Greek, Hurst said.

“So we picked the name as a place of gathering for all the councils,” Hurst said.

Greek chapters are invited to submit an article and photo about something their chapter has accomplished.

“Chapters can submit something about a philanthropy event they did or an outstanding member,” Hurst said.

The first edition received a total of 35 submissions from all the councils, Hurst said.

“Our goal is even to get more from everyone, but for the premier edition we did pretty well,” Hurst said.

In addition to philanthropy events, the current edition will also include the winners of the recent Greek Excellence Awards and Black Greek Council StepDown, said Brenda Lo, graduate assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

Hurst said she hopes the things covered in the newsletter will promote awareness among the councils.

“I think that a lot of Greeks get caught up in their own council,” Hurst said. “If they’re reading about someone in another council then they will look more into what else the council is doing.”

Lo said the Agora will also hopefully lead to councils working together and combining efforts for different activities.

With the current budget, Hurst said each chapter will only get five or six copies of the Agora’s first edition. She said she hopes it will soon have a wider circulation, which could possibly include non-Greek readers.

“I think we even want to get it to places where non-Greeks can pick them up,” Hurst said.

With more than 90 Greek chapters on campus, the University has the largest Greek system in the country. A different Greek newsletter, The Illini Greek, already exists on campus, but is more about upcoming events and announcements, Hurst said.

“I just think if we have the largest Greek system, we need to show off what we’re doing,” Hurst said. “It’s kind of surprising we didn’t have anything like this before.”