Greeks focus on Homecoming, not Greek Week this year

Each year, Homecoming brings fun events for University of Illinois students and alumni throughout the week. But this year, the Greek community will have more of an active role in the fun.

Instead of having a traditional Greek Week, this year Greeks are putting more of a focus on Homecoming. All four Greek councils are joining forces, along with the Student Alumni Ambassadors and the Illini Union Board, to sponsor various events throughout the week, including a Greek House Decoration Contest, discounts on Green Street, a “Greeks Support Homecoming” barbecue, the Homecoming Pep Rally and the African-American Homecoming Step Show.

The councils are looking forward to bringing more excitement to this year’s events, said vice president of internal programming for Panhellenic Council.

“‘Greeks Support Homecoming’ is a completely new program,” Grubb said. “All of the events are open to the public, and we hope that we can show our support for Illinois.”

She said she encourages the Greek chapters and the rest of the University community to get involved and show their Illini Pride throughout the week.

“Since this year is the 100th Homecoming for the University of Illinois, we really wanted to help celebrate Homecoming by beginning ‘Greeks Support Homecoming,’” she said. “We wanted to show our Illini support throughout the whole week. We hope to come together as a Greek system to celebrate with other Greeks and non-Greeks.”

The big Greek event for the week is a barbecue and bags tournament, along with a concert by Good Luck Jane, on Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. However, all four councils want to encourage participation in the traditional activities, such as the Homecoming parade and the pep rally, which will be held on Friday.

“By merging with Homecoming, we hope to come together as a community to celebrate our Greek unity, and our pride for our school,” she said.

Since Greek Week is usually in the fall, it is unlikely that it will be moved to the spring this year, said Tim Mueller, vice president of communications for the Interfraternity Council.

“Although we canceled Greek Week this year, the Greek system has been beginning to merge many of our big events we host throughout the year,” Mueller said. “We already have a number of very successful events every spring, including Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and Greek Oscars, but we have considered planning a spring event designed to foster pride in the fraternities and sororities on campus.”

Both Grubb and Mueller are excited to start a new tradition on campus this year.

“The four Greek councils involved in the annual planning of Greek Week (Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Black Greek Coucil, United Greek Council) saw the 100th homecoming as a great opportunity to integrate ourselves with the rest of the campus,” Grubb said. “Since most fraternity and sorority chapters see alumni come back to campus for Homecoming every year, we thought participating and taking pride in Homecoming would be a positive change.”

However, most students do not notice the difference in this year’s changes, but are nonetheless excited to participate in a myriad of events this week.

“For me, I really can’t see the difference between this year and last year; it’s pretty much all the same,” said Danielle Schmidt, senior in LAS and member of Sigma Kappa. “But it’s nice to see such a close-knit community come together for homecoming weekend.”