Throughout the week, you may have seen decorated boxes near the Student Center desk bearing Greek letters and filled with canned foods. This, among other things, was part of Charity Greek Week, a week where Greek organizations can give something to the community just in time for the holidays.
Most of you probably know Greek Week from the spring activities where the sororities and fraternities compete against each other. Many have seen the annual lip sync, obstacle course and tug of war. Charity Greek Week is a little different.
Charity Greek Week is a way to unite all fraternities and sororities to do something good for a common cause. It is still fun. However Charity Greek Week should unify, rather than separate. It should wipe away the competition between organizations. Or maybe not.
Greek Week chairs, junior Amy Gagnon and senior Rob Cervantez, have done a lot to make sure the week will be a success. They organized all of the week’s activities, including a canned food drive, a clothes drive and a toy drive. There is also encouragement to join the Big Sister or Big Brother programs through the LeRoy Haynes Center and the David and Margaret Home for girls. Applications were available at the Student Center desk.
These are all great things for the community and the individuals who choose to participate, but I cannot understand why points need to be given in a competitive manner.
One point is given to each organization for each small can of food put in their box, and two points for large cans. Points are given for the toy drive, clothing drive and also for signing up to be a Big Sister/Brother.
I am not trying to put down the program or the idea. Two years ago marked the first Charity Greek Week on this campus. During that week, two organizations were paired up to be in charge of different activities for different days. It involved working together, yet prizes were not handed out. Charity is for giving, not for points, competition or prizes.
The prize is supposed to be for incentive, but why should these organizations need incentive? Each has their own philanthropy, and most have more than one that they give to willingly whether it is through donation or volunteer service.
Instead of separate boxes for canned food, there should be one big box. Why was it not publicized to encourage non-Greeks to pick up applications to be a Big Sister/Brother, or asking to donate cans, toys or clothes?
Greeks and other organizations on campus should be recognized for their community service. Most people never know exactly how much Greeks contribute outside of this campus.
Of the fraternities, Delta Sigma Phi contributes to the March of Dimes and a local quilting association; Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s local philanthropy is the LeRoy Haynes Center for boys; and Phi Delta Theta is responsible for cleaning a section of the 210 Freeway and ALS research. For sororities, Sigma Kappa supports the research and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease by participating in a walk-a-thon and has its annual Charity Ball; Phi Sigma Sigma supports the National Kidney Foundation; and Iota Delta has the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the annual Clothesline project.
Great publicity is what the Greeks need. I encourage more unity within the Greek system. I support Charity Greek Week, but if there is a prize to be given, it should be given to everyone who participates. I also encourage the rest of campus to get involved. Things like this are not just for Greeks. Drop something into a box in the Student Center. It does not matter which one, it all goes to the same place.
Melissa A. Collett, a junior journalism major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.