Greek Week: 66 Years of Tradition and Opportunity


Two fraternity brothers dive into the freezing cold water during the Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics outside of the Memorial Union on April 1. The Greek community together raised nearly $356,000 by the time the plunge started. 

Mikaila Gondreau

In its 66th year, Greek Week continues to bring celebration and unity to the sorority and fraternity community. From the Polar Bear Plunge to Lip Sync, chapter teams bring their A-game and a friendly sense of competition to the week’s events.

After originating in 1952, Greek Week has become a large part of the rich history of the sorority and fraternity community. Every spring semester fraternities and sororities are grouped together, similar to homecoming, to compete against other chapter teams for the title of “Greek Week champions.” These events include a team banner display, Show Me the Greeks, karaoke, sports tournaments, food on campus, Polar Bear Plunge, LARPing, Lip Sync performances and awards ceremonies to end the busy week.

This year’s Greek Week Central co-chairs, Grace Perrin and Hannah Meador, believe Greek Week has been such a long-running tradition because of the special place it holds in the hearts of sorority and fraternity members.

“It’s really special for people because this is their time to be within the sorority and fraternity community in competition within different chapters,” Meador said. “I think that’s what makes it really exciting because it’s something special to our community.”

Meador has been on the Greek Week committee for all four years of her time at Iowa State.

“I’ve always just really loved Greek Week and I can’t imagine not being a part of it,” she said. 

During the school year, chapters have little time to network with each other, due to having their own philanthropies and events within their organizations.

“Throughout the year there is division between the chapters,” Perrin said, “but it’s really good and healthy to come together as a community.”

Chapters draw for their teams in the fall semester and start preparing for Greek Week as early as February. Their intricate Lip Sync routines and sets take weeks to complete.

“They create amazing sets and do amazing skits,” Meador said.

Along with recognizing the fun that comes from participating in events, students like Kendall Hull, member of Kappa Alpha Theta, see the value in gaining a sense of fulfillment through Greek Week.

“It builds a sense of camaraderie within the greek community,” Hull said. “Having people come together and work together as a team to raise money for Polar Bear Plunge or have practices weekly for Lip Sync, and then to have the Greek Week awards at the end and to have a sense of fulfillment of all the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year is one reason Greek Week is important for our community.”

The theme for this year’s Greek Week 2018 is “A Cyclone of Opportunities,” and Sigma Kappa member Morgan Sacia feels the week will live up to expectations. 

“It’s just so fun to see everyone from different chapters and even people from you own chapter that maybe you don’t get to hang out with as much just come together and celebrate the bond that we all share,” Sacia said. “It really does build good friendships.”

Although Greek Week is a celebration focused on the sorority and fraternity community, there are also ways for all Iowa State students to get involved. Buttons will be sold for $5 on Central Campus and can be used at the food on campus events taking place all week long.

All students are also welcome to come and watch any of the events taking place throughout the week. Perrin and Meador recommend going to the Polar Bear Plunge on Friday and the Greek Olympics and Lip Sync performances taking place on Saturday.

In the past, Greek Week has concluded with an awards ceremony called Vespers. This year, the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Engagement has decided to split up that ceremony into two separate events. Greek Week awards will be held on April 8 and the Ceremony Highlighting the Fraternal Awards of Excellence will take place on April 15.