Greeks make their week eco-friendly

Erica Magda

Erica Magda

By Rachel Rubin

Reduce. Reuse. Reward. Greeks are competing in honor of their real house mom. Mother earth.

Beginning Sunday, Greek councils of the University will be having their annual Greek Week with the theme ‘Greeks Go Green.’ The week will kick off at Foellinger Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Jacqueline Wincek, senior in Business and president of the Panhellenic Council, said that the University has been the main inspiration for this year’s pull to environmental causes.

“There’s been so many changes in the past couple years to make our campus more efficient and sustainable,” Wincek said. “It’s been a whole campus-wide mind-set to be green. It was time for the Greek community to do their part.”

This year’s green theme also represents the all four Greek councils’ attempts to start a new tradition for the University.

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    “In the past it hasn’t been celebrated as much,” Jay Dave, senior in Business, vice president of communications for the Interfraternity Council and co-organizer of the events. “We decided this year would be the foundation for all Greek Weeks to follow.”

    Kara Holzgraefe, senior in Communication and vice president of Internal Affairs for the Panhellenic Council, worked with Dave since January to create a program which they hope will get more Greeks fired up.

    “There hasn’t been a tradition to go back to,” Holzgraefe said. “It’s changed every year, but there is always the focus of fun and uniting.”

    Dave and Holzgraefe attended a conference and received ideas from other schools such as Purdue and the University of Florida, renowned for their participation. So far, feedback has been encouraging, with more than 1,400 Greek Week T-shirts sold and more houses signed up to participate than in previous years.

    This is also the first year that all four Greek councils have played a role in planning the week’s events. In addition, the councils have teamed with CORE, the student organization for environmental concerns, and Inclusive Illinois, an organization focused on promoting a diverse campus community.

    “With such a large Greek system, it’s hard to get everyone to unite,” Dave said. “But that is our goal.”

    Some of this year’s events include a god and goddess pageant with a karaoke and dance competition, a speaker discussing diversity and a discount day on Green Street for all Greek’s wearing their Greek Week T-shirts. A full afternoon of Jeopardy, a campus cleanup and recycling collection and a field day of tug-o-war and jousting are also on the agenda.

    Each event will track the level of participation from each house and will award points accordingly. The winning house will get money donated in its name to a charity of its choice.

    Holzgraefe said everyone is encouraged to come watch Greek Week events, attend the lecture on diversity and help recycle on the Quad all week. Sunday’s entrance fee will be a recyclable good.

    “We’re excited to see if it will blow up as much as we think it will,” Holzgraefe said.