In a “Legends of the Hidden Temple”-style obstacle course – and other events of UCSB’s Greek Week – fraternities and sororities will compete to raise money to help ease Africa’s AIDS pandemic and provide clean water.

Greek Week commenced yesterday with a scholarship banquet honoring students in the greek system with the highest GPAs and will continue through Saturday, March 1. The fundraising festivities include a barbecue, blood drive and talent show which aim to raise money this week in support of Blood:Water Mission.

According to their Web site,, the organization is fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic by building clean wells to provide needy Africans with fresh water.

One highlight of the event will be the “Man Jam” – a talent show in which greek men will compete to put on the most entertaining show.

Interfraternity Council Vice President of Finance Henray Cohen, a third-year business economics major, said this year’s events top those of Greek Weeks past.

“All the stuff we’re bringing in this year is a lot more creative, not lame like past years’,” Cohen said. “This year we’re going to blow socks off.”

According to Cohen, those 21 and over can enjoy a beer garden and a night downtown during Greek Week festivities.

“There are certain times [at the events] when people are allowed to drink if they’re of age,” he said. “It’s always fun to get rowdy, but if it’s for a good cause it makes it that much better.”

Interfraternity Council President JP Primeau, a third-year pharmacology and business economics major, said this year the greek councils selected Blood:Water Mission as the sole recipient charity and would dedicate Greek Week to fundraising on behalf of HIV/AIDS.

“Greek Week is a week long celebration of greek culture all geared towards raising money for our charity,” Primeau said. “[We want people to know] that the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa deserves our attention and that students at UCSB can do something about it.”

Panhellenic Council Vice President of Programming Brittany Morgan, a fourth-year business economics and Spanish major, said Greek Week fundraising has supported Blood:Water Mission in the past, but this will be the first year all proceeds will go directly to this one non-profit organization.

“The organization we’re contributing to is a really amazing organization, because we can actually track where our money is going,” Morgan said. “We’re trying to raise at least $3,000. It only costs that much to build a well so that’s what we’re shooting for.”

Primeau, who helped organize this year’s Greek Week along with a steering committee comprised of members of all the major greek councils – Interfraternity Council, College Panhellenic Council, United Sorority and Fraternity Council and the National Panhellenic Council – said the events support greek camaraderie as well as help others.

“Throughout the week, events like the greek scholarship banquet, the all-greek talent show and the greek barbeque and obstacle course raise awareness of our charity within the greek system and the UCSB community, all while celebrating greek life,” Primeau said.