The Daily Illini

Black Greek Council presents first Greek Picnic weekend

By Natalie Stewart

The University’s Black Greek Council is bringing something new to campus with its first Greek Picnic weekend.

The Greek Picnic, which is occurring in place of the annual “Step Down” competition, will span over two days with a total of four activities for picnicgoers on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, attendees can join the Greeks in the “Walk A Mile” service event against sexual assault that will begin at 4:45 p.m. on the Main Quad.

This particular part of the event gives Greeks and non-Greeks alike an opportunity to come together for a central cause, said Renee Jones, junior in LAS and vice president of Black Greek Affairs for the BGC Council.

“Not only will people just come out to see a show and a party, but they are actually upholding the things that they pledge to do (which is) bringing a lot of people together,” said Nia Green, junior in AHS and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Later Friday night, the namesake of the weekend’s activities — the picnic — will take place on the South Quad at 6 p.m.

“We’ll have food (and) music so it’s kind of more like a social that will give people a chance to eat and be around each other” Jones said.

On Saturday, a BGC showcase will take place in Foellinger Auditorium at 2 p.m. Groups of members from the Divine Nine sororities and fraternities as well as the Phi Rho Eta Fraternity, Inc. will perform.

“The showcase will be a chance for Greeks to still perform since we aren’t putting on (as big of a) show as ‘Step Down’ usually is.” Jones said, “But it still gives you the opportunity to see what we do as different organizations in the Divine Nine and Phi Rho Eta.”

After the step show, the festivities will continue with the “Stoop After Dark” event, cosponsored by 100 STRONG, a retention program for first-year and transfer African American students at the University. “Stoop After Dark” will take place on the Main Quad at Anniversary Plaza with a live DJ.

The goal of the weekend is to promote unity and communication between Greeks and Non-Greeks, Jones explained.

“(It) gets people to be social with us, and it kind of combines community, so you could see what we do when we come to events like this,” Jones said.

The BGC and participants in the show’s events encourage everyone to come out and support, Green said.

“It’s important because, even if you’re not Greek, it’s good to support other black organizations on campus,” Green said, “It’s another outlet for people to kind of come together and be involved in something.”

Although there is a lot happening in the weekend, participants and attendees alike have already pinpointed certain events that they are looking forward to the most.

“Honestly, I’m most looking forward to the step show performance because this year I’m in it,” Green said. “It was a whole other side that kind of is bringing us to the final step to be able to show off your work of what you’ve been practicing.”

Cyrenthia Clark, freshman in DGS, said she is looking forward to attending the event for the first time.

All picnic events are free besides the showcase on Saturday. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at eventbrite.com.

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