By Nicole Mitchell
Spring Greek Week, an annual event in which Greek organizations on campus host events to benefit their national and local philanthropies, began on the evening of Monday, May 11. The week’s festivities kicked off in the Wriston Art Center amphitheatre with the Lip Sync competition, a tradition during which members of Greek organizations perform dance routines while lip-syncing to various songs.
Participants in this year’s competition included Beta Psi Nu, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Delta Tau Delta, Beta Theta Pi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. This year, the fraternity Delta Tau Delta (Delt) took home the first place prize after performing a mix of songs including “Love is an Open Door” from the animated film Frozen, “No One” by Alicia Keys, “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani and “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls.
According to Delt’s Director of Member Development and junior Zach Eichhorst, this year was the first time in the past four years that Delt has participated in the Lip Sync competition. Kappa Kappa Gamma placed second while Delta Gamma placed third.
On Tuesday, Kappa Kappa Gamma sponsored the event Too Hot to Handle, a wings eating competition. On Wednesday, Delta Gamma presented Anchor Splash, a swimming relay and synchronized swimming event. Also on Wednesday, Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted a basketball tournament titled Ballin’ On Boldt and Mortar Board ran a trivia wheel — their first time hosting a Greek Week event. On Thursday, Kappa Alpha Theta held Kicks for Casa, a kickball tournament on the Quad.
Lawrence’s Panhellenic Council (Panhel) and Interfraternity Council (IFC) collaborate to organize Greek Week. According to Panhel Vice President of Marketing and sophomore Rachel Gregory, Mortar Board’s event is part of a larger push to make Greek Week and Greek life feel more “approachable” to non-Greek affiliated students on campus. “Greek life has always been part of the larger Lawrence community,” said Gregory, “and so it makes logical sense to invite other groups to participate. We want them to know that they are welcome and we are excited to have them.”
This sentiment was echoed by Panhel President and junior Genna Matt, who says, “We’ve become very aware of a gap between Greek life and the rest of campus when that’s not supposed to be the way it is at all. We want to be benefitting everyone on campus. With that in mind and with the gap we’ve been noticing, we’ve made a big push this year to invite both Greeks and non-Greeks to attend our events.” The push has included extending invitations to organizations, such as Mortar Board, to host events and encouraging non-Greek organizations to form teams for different activities.
It is unclear if efforts to make this year’s Greek Week more inclusive have been successful. When asked if they were likely to attend any events, non-Greek affiliated students sophomore Kai Kramer and freshman Will Henry responded that they most likely would not because they did not know when and where things were happening. However, they also stated that they felt they would be welcomed to any event where they did appear.
Greek Week continues throughout the weekend. Upcoming events include Phi Kappa Tau’s Freeze Out and a field day hosted by Beta Psi Nu on Friday, a wiffle ball game sponsored by Beta Theta Pi and a grill-out at Delta Tau Delta on Saturday, and an IFC-sponsored party Saturday evening. The week of events concludes with a round of music trivia put on by Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia on Sunday afternoon.