Last week, all 12 Greek houses at USD competed for glory and for charities during the annual Greek Week competition.
The five-day challenge raised more than $1,200 and is made up of daily events and fundraisers for a charity of the Greek community’s choice, ending with three winners, three plaques and a year’s worth of bragging rights.
The time-honored tradition has been in the USD Greek community since around the 1950s, and according to Sorority and Fraternity Life Director Laura Roof, it continues to become popular among the houses.
“It’s very much student-run. Myself as well as my graduate assistants provide support to the students and advise them,” Roof said, although she stressed it is all up to the students and their appointed Greek Week co-chairs, senior Spencer Mathers and sophomore Mitch Rave.
“We’re trying to get our Sorority and Fraternity Life on a higher level with other schools,” Rave said.
Greek Week is practiced at chapters on universities throughout the United States. At USD, Roof said there are 300-400 participants each year, and it’s growing.
Both Mathers and Rave did their homework and asked not only the leaders from last year’s USD Greek Week, but also other universities to see what sort of events worked for them.
Mathers is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and Rave is from Tau Kappa Epsilon. Neither participated in any of the events because they organized them.
The traditional week for Greek Life is made up of many different competitions. The houses are paired up with their Strollers partners, which is another Greek event in the spring semester. Two fraternities pair with a sorority and compete for a coveted plaque at the end of the week.
The houses work with their Strollers partners, but also have the opportunity to earn points on their own. Co-chairs Mathers and Rave said there are individual house awards at the end of the week as well.
Plaques are given to the winning Strollers team or the three winning houses. This year the house winners are Alpha Phi, Delta Tau Delta and Lambda Chi Alpha.
The week started off with the annual blood drive on Monday and Tuesday. Each house asked their members to participate and donate blood, and a total of 68 donors were recorded by the end of the event. That night, the houses competed in a game of capture the flag in Prentis Park.
Later in the week, Greek members participated in Tails & Trails at Prentis Park – a pet-and-play fundraiser that benefits Greek Week’s second charity, the Heartland Humane Society. They raised about $900 dollars.
“We decided to keep it (the Vermillion food pantry charity) and then we decided to do Tails & Trails this year because we wanted more student involvement,” Mathers said.
All students were invited to attend any event throughout the week to watch and donate to the charities.
An all-Greek dinner marked the middle of the week-long competition.
Throughout the week, each Greek house was represented in the MUC in a change war that also benefited the Heartland Humane Society.
Each house had buckets placed with their Greek letters on it, and students were able to give their change to the Heartland Humane Society. The winners of this week long challenge were Alpha Phi, Lambda Chi Alpha and Delta Tau Delta, who raised $384.25.
Finally, Greek members participated in the final event of Greek Week, the Greek God and Goddess challenge. Each house chose a member to participate in the dance and beauty show, which was held Oct. 9.
Alex Gregger from Phi Delta Theta was crowned Greek God and Emily VanLaecken from Kappa Alpha Theta were crowned this year’s Greek Goddess.