Greek Week events engage students and raise money for charity

Nicole Winkleman

Kent State’s Pan-Hellenic Council and Interfraternity Council hosted a week of fun with its annual Greek Week. This year, Community Service Week accompanied Greek Week.

April 9 started off the week with a river-park cleanup event sponsored by the Order of Omega, the honors fraternity.

Brianna Foraker, junior early childhood education major, is the vice president of philanthropy for the Pan-Hellenic Council. She kept the teams updated on Community Service Week events on her Facebook page. She also gave the fraternities and sororities words of encouragement.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to the park-river cleanup,” said Foraker. “The rivers and parks look great; the teams are off to a great start.”

Foraker said more than 100 people attended the event and they put in roughly five hours of work a piece.

Other community service events consisted of volunteering at blood drives and writing letters to soldiers who are overseas.

One of the highlights of Greek Week was the Greek Idol competition. Similar to the concept of American Idol, Greeks sang their hearts out in the name of charity.

“Last year, Greek Idol was a huge success,” said Britteny Gallagher, sophomore fashion merchandising major. “We had multiple people request that we make sure that it is part of this year’s week.”

The event was sold out. More than 320 people packed into the Michael Schwartz auditorium, and some members of the Greek community had to be turned away at the door because of the lack of space.

At least one member from each chapter performed a song that has been on the Billboard Top 100 Music Charts.

First place award for a sorority went to Carrie Vieweg from Chi Omega who sang “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.

Vieweg, junior music major, said she picked a song that she knows really well.

“I was in a band and that was one of the songs we performed,” said Vieweg. “I knew I would be really nervous so I picked a song that I knew I wouldn’t forget the words to when I was nervous.”

The brothers of Alpha Tau Omega took home the award for the fraternities. Bryan Webb, freshman news major, and Derek Webb, junior accounting major, sang their own rendition of “If I Had $1000000” by Barenaked Ladies. Fraternity brother Landon Foster, sophomore business management major, played guitar in the background.

“We struggled a little with getting all the verses right and only had one perfect run-through before the performance,” said Bryan Webb. “So we were a little bit nervous, but it ended up working out.”

vThe judges were Meredith Bielaska, assistant director for the center for student involvement, and Brenda McKenzie, associate director for the center for student involvement.

“They made it really hard [for us] this year,” said McKenzie. “It came down to stage presence; who really connected with the audience more.”

Admission was $2 and all the money raised will go to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Vieweg said she is going to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, since that is Chi Omega’s philanthropic organization of choice.

“Our entire Greek Week team had decided before hand that if any of us won, we’d donate it to Relay for Life for our team,” said Bryan. “So that is where the money is going to.”

Another one of the signature events for the week was the Greek Olympics.

The Greek Olympics consisted of six mini-events that included: a piggyback relay, a water balloon toss and a human pyramid building competition.

A team of at least two people from each chapter participated in all of the events.

“My favorite event was the balloon walk,” said Arielle Brafman, junior education, health, and human services general major. “It was really funny to watch the fraternities use an array of tactics to get down and back. The funniest one was when some of the guys rolled up their pants or shorts so that the balloon would not rub on the fabric.”

The total points for Greek Week will not be tallied until April 21. The last event for teams to participate in will be Relay for Life Saturday and Sunday on the track behind DeWeese Health Center. The winner of Greek Week will be announced after the Relay for Life.

Contact Nicole Winkleman at [email protected].