The Devil’s Advocate: Does Greek Week truly reflect the spirit of the Greek community, teamwork and sportsmanship?

In Columns, Opinion

By Skylar Smith
Daily Titan Opinion Editor

Recently, Cal State Fullerton held its largest student-run event and pride of the Greek community: Greek Week. Fraternities and sororities worked toward the goal of raising money for their Camp Titan program. How did they do this?

They held competitions to see which house could raise the most money, and held sporting and entertainment events to promote house-to-house bonding.

During this week-long event, the Greeks bonded, attempted to promote unity between houses, traded information for future networking and promoted teamwork. Oh, and did I mention they also vandalized cars, had Facebook bashing wars, got ejected from games for consistent arguing with the referee and in general talked bad about other houses behind their backs?

The Greek community is not known for its subtlety, but that does not make them disrespectful. As a matter of fact, they do more for creating a sense of campus life and school pride than most student organizations. They help send their brothers and sisters into the world with a sense of security because they have the connections and the resources to make a living after college.

However, when it comes to Greek Week, that lack of subtlety brings out the irresponsible, competitive high school student that we hoped to leave behind.

Really? Egging cars? Facebook bashing? How do any of these acts promote a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship? Or brotherhood and sisterhood for that matter?

The scary fact is that some of these Greek members are supposed to be role models and leaders at Camp Titan every summer. Even more so, these Greek members are supposed to be a part of high standing societies on campus and representatives of their campus to different chapters. How embarrassed would one chapter of a sorority feel if they saw some of the things that took place during Greek Week within that same sorority?

Sure, in the end, the Greeks did raise $57,000 for Camp Titan, and saved it from potentially being shut down. However, according to an inside source, a good chunk of the money raised was by one sorority. So what were the rest of the fraternities and sororities doing? Just look to the Facebook pages of each chapter to find out.

All in all, Greek Week has the potential to be the highlight of the Greek year, and in some ways it currently is. However, with all of the vandalism, name calling, Facebook abuse and general disrespectful attitude toward competing houses, it is hard to take much of what goes on during Greek Week seriously.

The Greek organizations on campus have been a longstanding source of school pride and been a respected part of the campus community. Greek Week should reflect these ideals, not take away from them.

By Melissa Maldonado
Daily Titan Staff Writer

For the past two decades, the Greek community has continued the prized tradition of coming together to compete in events for the common goal to raise money for Cal State Fullerton’s philanthropy Camp Titan, a summer camp for underprivileged Orange County children.

This year, the 12 IFC fraternities and Panhellenic sororities spent months practicing, recycling and fundraising for the weeklong event, raising $57,000.

Despite the few people who took Greek week to the next level,by vandalizing and Facebook-bashing, the goals and valuable experiences did not change.

Each fraternity and sorority bonded within their own house by spending countless hours practicing for the sports tournaments, lipsync competitions and other events. They came together with respect, support and pride to send 150 children on a week-long summer getaway.

You can ask any Greek and they’ll tell you one of the most important weeks of the year, aside from recruitment and rush, is Greek Week. I realize that a common stigma given to Greeks is that sororities and fraternities are filled with “drama.” However, these differences are put aside for the chance to cheer, “CSUF go Greeks, go!” and give back to the community. It’s hard not to put aside differences when you have a common goal – especially when that goal is to help needy children by giving them an experience they’ll never forget.

Greek Week is also a chance to bring the community – including parents, alumni and non-Greeks – together to show what the Greek community is really about.
It’s not just about the events and partying like many assume. Yes, we know how to have a good time, but we know how to give back just the same. It’s unfair to think that a group of people as a whole are a certain way simply because of the (sometimes inaccurate) stereotype they’re given.

Greeks founded Camp Titan in 1969, and the majority of camp counselors are in a fraternity or sorority.

With the budget cuts, Camp Titan was at risk of being shut down this summer due to lack of funds. However, with the $57,000 that the Greek community raised this April, 150 children will be shipped off to the San Bernardino Mountains for a week of swimming, hiking, canoeing and other nature programs, hopefully inspiring a new generation of leaders.

As a very wise sister of mine, Emel Shaikh, once told me, “It’s not about the competition of Greek Week, it’s about the legacy of Camp Titan.”

The legacy of the philanthropic program will continue with the essential help of the Greek community during those profitable six days.

After all, as Aria Nasiri of Pi Kappa Phi said, “Banners don’t distinguish anything, the other 360 days a year characterize a chapter.”

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