Central Michigan University Greek Week 2014 kicked off Sunday, offering fraternities and sororities on campus a chance to have fun, bond and win money for their favorite philanthropy.
This year’s chosen philanthropy, the organization the Greek community decided to raise money for, is Special Olympics.
Veronica Meadows, a senior from Shelby Township and Panhellenic president, is one of the students in charge of public relations for Greek Week.
“It’s been really cool because we’ve had a really big social media hit,” she said. “We’ve increased our followers by over 250 on Twitter. It’s just about getting the word out there about Greek Week and philanthropy.”
Meadows said Greek Week centers on philanthropy and raising money for Special Olympics. This is accomplished through Greek contestants competing in events to raise money, but also paying entrance fees to participate in the events.
She said notable events for the week include Special Olympics speakers coming to share their experiences, athletic/academic games and mock rock.
Mock rock is the closing event, and one of the most consistently popular Greek Week events every year as paired fraternity and sorority teams go head-to-head to see who can pull off the most impressive dance performance.
Choosing a philanthropy
Special Olympics was chosen as the philanthropy for this year, Meadows said, because the CMU Greek chapters voted collectively to support it.
“A lot of Greek members volunteer with Special Olympics and it’s a philanthropy that we all really care about,” Meadows said. “We all have a soft spot in our hearts for it, and I think it was just in the front of everyone’s minds.”
Greek Week has a significant importance because it raises money for charity, Meadows said, which also serves as a great bonding experience for the Greek community.
“I think Greek Week matters for a few different reasons,” Meadows said. “Obviously, the money that is raised through the philanthropy is awesome, but it is also a time for the Greek community to come together to work toward a common cause. Sometimes I feel like we’re so busy with our own philanthropies and activities that there’s not as much of a community drive.”
She feels it also had the power to change the rest of campus’ perceptions about CMU Greeks.
“It kind of gives the rest of campus an idea that Greek people do have values and morals,” Meadows said. “Sometimes I worry that our community isn’t always portrayed and viewed that way. I just think it’s kind of nice to show how close philanthropy is to us.”
Beth Jones, a senior from Battle Creek, said she feels Greek Week, while being a Greek activity, could also help the community.
“I think it can be both,” she said. “I think it can help the community, but it more brings the Greek community together.”