Greek Week exhibits pride, greek camaraderie in annual celebration


The team known as “Bob Barker’s Brigade” crosses the finish line of the Greek Week bed race. The group consists of the sorority Kappa Delta and the fraternities Pi Kappa Alpha, Adelante and Delta Sigma Phi.

Mitchel Anderson

Iowa State’s greek organizations flexed their community service prowess during their annual Greek Week celebration this weekend.

The majority of events took place Saturday with a day of fundraising and Greek Olympic events in which students formed teams comprised of several houses each.

“It’s really cool just to see everyone come together for an actual weekend event. There are always small things going on but this is one of the few times that everyone is here together,” said Dustin Herbert, junior in chemical engineering and member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, which was one of the three houses that formed team Tek-Chi’O-Chi.

Although attendees said the week was partially about exhibiting sisterhood and brotherhood within the greek community, there was no shortage of competitiveness.

Throughout the week, teams competed in basketball, broomball, volleyball and dodgeball tournaments. Among Saturday’s list of traditional greek olympic events were dizzy duck, live action role play, bed racing, dingle dangle donut, tug of war and egg jousting.

“I do enjoy all of the events, but if I had to pick one it would be the olympic event [live action role play],” said Chance Wiese, senior in agricultural studies.

Contestants at the live action role play event sported intricate war paint and costumes as their supporters displayed their house colors on a flag on whatever object they could find, whether it was a broom or a hockey stick.

Wiese has been involved in Greek Week since his freshman year, after which he chose to be on Greek Week Central Committee where he serves as one of this year’s two general co-chairs. Wiese said the week is more than just fun events and camaraderie.

“We also had various community service events that occurred throughout the week. At one of them we assisted with the blood drive, and we also have what’s called Community Drive, where members of the greek community will gather items for shelters around the Ames area,” Wiese said.

The Polar Bear Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics, is another event the greek community participates in. Members who raise enough money have the opportunity to take part in the plunge.

In years past, the plunge took place in Lake Laverne, but it has taken place in the State Gym pool for the past two years.

At the Community Drive Collection on Tuesday, every member was asked to bring something to donate to one of 22 organizations around the Story County area. The event brought in an estimated 3,000 items, which were packaged and donated to the organizations Saturday morning.

“I think Greek Week is not even necessarily for the greek community, in the sense that it’s just a fun time to showcase what ISU students can do,” said Danielle Andrews, senior in biology.

Andrews said the week shows that college students can help those outside of the college community.

“I think there’s a lot of negativity in the press about college students, and people always say college students are selfish. Just from Polar Bear Plunge and Community Drive alone, it shows how much people are willing to give,” said Andrews, who served as community service coordinator for Greek Week Central.

Andrews said she feels it is no secret that the image of fraternities and sororities across the country has taken a hit during the last year and especially in recent months with Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon scandal, but Iowa State’s greek community wants to make it clear that the majority is not being represented in those cases.

“This is what people need to know about. This is what greeks do,” Andrews said. “We’re very involved on campus, and we’re very involved in helping out the community, and this is what the greek community means — not the negative stuff people see on the media.”

Andrews said the goal of Greek Week is not to top last year’s events. The goal is to continue to provide community service.

“For Polar Bear Plunge, we just wanted to beat last year’s goal, which we successfully did,” Andrews said.

Greek Week planners gave the greek community members the tools necessary to raise money, such as pre-drafted emails they could send to family and friends asking for donations. With the success of previous years, the Greek Week Central Committee staff was also able to focus on the more specific details of the week’s events.

“We really just sat down and worked out the logistics this year, which is something we couldn’t do in past years. We really just sat down and said, ‘okay, how are we going to make things run smoothly? How are we going to get people in and out quickly?’” Andrews said. “I think that’s what helped make Greek Week run so smoothly.”

Planning for this year’s Greek Week began in October and continued in weekly meetings up until the beginning of this month. In an effort to avoid bias toward any chapter or team, Greek Week Central Committee members were required to disaffiliate from their fraternity or sorority from the beginning of the semester up until the conclusion of Greek Week.