Fun and Philanthropy During Greek Week

Posted: April 7, 2014 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: April 11, 2014 at 7:01 am

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By Justin Lafreniere

Sororties and fraternities at Greek sing

George Mason sororities and fraternities competed in Greek Sing, an annual competition during Greek Week. Photo by Craig Bisacre

With all their letters on display, George Mason University’s Greek community came together last week to celebrate Greek Week with events that capture the creative and philanthropic spirits of these vibrant organizations.

For Phi Kappa Sigma brother Matthew Miniaci, Greek Week demonstrates the power of a diverse community. During the year, Phi Kappa Sigma may raise $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but during Greek Week, the fraternity has the opportunity to build bonds with other houses.

The week kicked off with Shack-A-Thon, a community-wide fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. Working with the theme, “Cities of America,” groups of fraternities and sororities constructed shacks out of cardboard, many representing the famous tourist attractions of their cities.

Greek Week Shackathon

Students kept up with their studies while helping to raise money for Habitat for Humanity during the Greek Week Shack-A-Thon. Photo by Alexis Glenn

As Miniaci took a break from placing lei garlands over passersby (he was part of the group representing Honolulu), he explains that Greek Week “is one of my favorite times of the year, partially because we get to shed a positive light on all that we do and still come together for a single cause.” Another Phi Kappa Sigma brother was helping with a limbo stick nearby, assisted by members of the other Greek organizations they had been paired with — Pi Beta Phi, Delta Chi, Lambda Pi Chi and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Caitlin Lutz, the Greek Week chair for Alpha Omicron Pi, says she was enjoying this year’s Greek Week more than any other, in part because of the other organizations that her house teamed with. “We all got so close and had a great time competing together,” she says.

The Shack-A-Thon also solicits canned food donations. Miniaci says he expects thousands of cans to be donated in the name of Greek Week. In previous years, more than 8,000 pounds of cans were collected, all of which were donated to Food for Others.

Meghan Murray, a sophomore and sister of Alpha Xi Delta, says Shack-A-Thon is just part of the Greek community’s ongoing commitment to philanthropy. She cites the annual Alternative Spring Break that sent members of fraternities and sororities to Cleveland, Ohio, and Newark, N.J., to support Habitat for Humanity programs. At a university as large as George Mason, Murray says, “It’s important to demonstrate that there is strength in our community.”

Other events during the week included “Capture the Facts,” a flash lecture, and an Aquatics Night featuring synchronized swimming competitions and raft relay races.

Greek Week culminated in two weekend events — Field Day and Greek Sing. Alpha Xi Delta sisters Krista Whaley and Bethany Montgomery both expressed their excitement for Greek Sing. “It features skits that show a lot of time and effort and let us bond together,” says Whaley.

Greek life represents 38 organizations and more than 1,200 students at Mason. It includes fraternities, multicultural Greek organizations, and both National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic organizations.

synchronized swimming competition

Sororities and fraternities compete in Aquatic Night at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. The annual competition during Greek Week consists of team synchronized swimming and relay races. Photo by Craig Bisacre

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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