Greek Week promotes sense of community and spirit

With finals just around the corner, Greeks are not only preparing for mental tests, but for physical ones as well. Tech’s annual Greek Week begins this Sunday after weeks, if not months, of preparation.

“The purpose of Greek Week is to bring Greeks together to compete in a variety of events with pride in your chapter and your Greek community,” said Stephanie Lyons, third-year STaC major and Spirit Chair for Greek Week.

First on the schedule of events is Tug, which will take place in the Burger Bowl at 12 p.m. this Sunday. Just as it sounds, Tug is a tug-of-war event in which teams of between ten and 14 athletes compete in head-to-head competition.

Historically, Tug has been monitored more closely than other events because of the potential health risks involved due to over-exercising and over-dieting during months of training.

Like wrestling, teams must limit the weight of athletes, which can sometimes lead to health risks, such as dehydration.

“[One] event we are constantly learning from is Tug. The rules have changed over the years [to address health concerns] and there is [now] a mandatory health seminar [for the athletes]. Also, the weight limit [is now] based on an average of all those who weigh in the morning of the event rather than a solid number,” Lyons said.

Last year, after several intense rounds of Tug, Alpha Xi Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Greek Sing is another event that will draw a crowd. Occurring on Tuesday, April 7, at CW Live, the event will end Greek Week on a high note, at least in terms of points. Greek Sing is an opportunity for chapters on campus to showcase their musical and dancing talent.

Including preliminaries, Greek Sing is tied with Tug at 22 possible points for fraternities and 20 possible points for sororities.

“Greek Sing can be just as intensive as Tug depending on how committed a chapter is. Greek Sing routines are written and rehearsed well ahead of time for the preliminaries [which are] held a few weeks before the event,” Lyons said.

Ticket distribution for Greek Sing will occur on Friday, April 3rd, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby of the Flag Building.

Other events include a dodge ball tournament, egg toss, arm wrestling, catapult wars, chariot race, slam dunk contest, Greek God/Goddess competition and many more.

For a complete schedule of event times and locations, visit cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/greekweek.

According to Lyons, one aspect of Greek Week that brings people together is the level of cooperation that it takes to prepare for and participate in events.

Out of over 30 events, more than 80% require participants to work in teams.

“The best part of Greek Week is the chance to work with other members of your organization to a common goal. Most events heavily rely on team work and participants need to be able to trust each other to succeed,” Lyons said.

In addition to the preparation done by teams and participants, planning for Greek Week as a whole is done by the Greek Week Executive Board, which consists of nine fraternity members and nine sorority members.

“The executive board has met on a regular basis since the end of fall semester to put together a great week of events. They have worked hard to collaborate on ideas [concerning] how to raise participation levels for field events and the Greek social night,” Lyons said.

Another aspect of Greek Week is philanthropy. As a way to give back to the community, fraternities and sororities volunteer for different service projects, including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Project Open Hand and Tech Beautification Day.

As a way to rally service, Greek Week allots up to 15 points for chapters in which at least 90 percent of members volunteer.

Non-athletic Greek Week events include dessert and a movie night, a banner contest, T-shirt design contest and attending a Jackets baseball game.

Chapters will accumulate points over the week, and the top three will be announced at Greek Sing.

Two new awards that have been created this year include the Most Improved Chapter award and the Spirit of Greek Week award.

“To promote good relations among the Greek chapters, the Spirit Committee is sponsoring this award. It works off nominations from participating chapters,” Lyons said.

“A chapter can recognize positive attitudes and sportsmanship in another team by letting the Executive Committee know through an e-mail,” Lyons said.

This award is only part of the effort being made by the Spirit Committee to improve the sportsmanship displayed during Greek Week. New policies addressing sportsmanship have been added this year to give members more incentive to maintain positive behavior.

With about a fourth of Tech’s campus being Greek, this week is sure to be a big week for the campus as a whole.

Greek Week is just one of the traditions students continue at Tech as a part of the rich history that everyone has come to love.