The first UCSB Greek Week in 20 years will kick off today with a rally in Storke Plaza from noon to 1 p.m.
Five co-ed teams made up of fraternities and sororities from each of UCSB’s four greek chapters will participate in activities and philanthropic events over the next four days. Greek Week will culminate on Saturday night with an all-greek dance at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The event is organized by the Inter-Greek Council, which is made up of executive officers from each greek chapter.
Today’s rally in Storke Plaza will give teams a chance to get together, said coordinator Sharon Auchman.
“It’s just for everyone to be in the same place because the greek system doesn’t really know each other very well outside of your own chapter, and that’s what this is all about. We’re trying to bring back that closeness by bringing back Greek Week,” Auchman said.
The week’s schedule includes a scavenger hunt and a greek god and goddess competition in Isla Vista Theater on Thursday. On Friday there will be Olympic-style competitions and a carnival on the practice field at Harder Stadium.
On Saturday teams will repaint the fence in Greek Park on Embarcadero Del Norte with their respective greek letters and work with the I.V. Recreation and Parks District to clean up I.V. before going to the all-greek formal. There will also be a canned food drive throughout the week to benefit an undetermined local charity, co-coordinator Justin Palmer said. Teams will be awarded points based on creative involvement in events and overall participation, and winners will be announced Saturday night.
Palmer said the week’s activities will offer a chance for fraternities and sororities to counteract the negative stereotypes about the greek system.
“Part of the week’s purpose is to erase the stigmas associated with the greek system, particularly the drinking and the negative energy,” Palmer said. “We want to let the outside community know that we do work and we do get along.”
Auchman said she was surprised by the enthusiasm the greek community has shown toward the event.
“Just about every single fraternity and sorority on campus is involved – that’s about 36 houses,” Auchman said. “I’m really amazed. I didn’t think people would respond the way they did.”
The week’s events will focus on unifying the greek system and on providing community service, Inter-Fraternity Council President Josh Finestone said.
“This is a great opportunity for the greek system to get together and interact with each other,” Finestone said. “We’re taking a turn toward being more socially responsible and showing the community we want to give something back.”