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Greek Week Focuses on Social, Community Events

By Cherry Liu

Greek Week kicked off its festivities yesterday with last night's showing of the ever-popular Animal House, a movie about fraternity life.

Sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, Greek Week intends "to promote Greek life on campus and to get students involved in productive activities," said Neal H. Dorow, adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.

With a variety of activities ranging from the educational to the social, the events bring a number changes this year. The emphasis in events has moved away from alcohol, said Greek Week Co-Chair Waleed H. Anbar '99.

But for the first time this year, alcohol will actually be present at the Greek Week Charity Ball on Saturday night. It is going to be significantly more limited at Thursday night's Progressive Dinners, an event that had been dubbed "Progressive Drunk" in previous years by some.

"It has been in the past," Anbar said. "We're trying to move away from that."

In general, alcohol at all events will be kept to the most "minimal presence as possible," Anbar said. Only those 21 and older will be able to cross into the bar at the Greek Week ball, for example.

Greek Week is focusing its energy on community service, Anbar said. "Basically, the fact that we have organizations like FSILGs here at MIT means that we should give back something to MITand the community."

Greek Week events are typically attended by mostly FSILG members. But the hope is that non-FSILG members of the MIT community will also take part, Anbar said.

Week packed with FSILG events

Today a "Wing It" chicken wing-eating contest will take place on the steps of the Student Center at noon. The event involves teams of two tackling plates of chicken wings for a prize, which will be presented on Saturday night. Extra wings will be present to draw in active and daring audience members.

The event was moved to the afternoon from the evening this year to attract a greater audience, Anbar said.

Tonight's events include "Check into a Winning Life: How to Use Alcohol Responsibly," a lecture by Bob Anastas, founder and former executive director of Students Against Drunk Driving.

Anastas will present "timely and important alcohol issues," said Phi Gamma Delta Community Service Chair Charles H. Yoo '97. Fiji is sponsoring the talk as part of the fraternity's punishment for "a problem that we had at a party" with alcohol, Yoo said.

The event seemed particularly convenient to hold during Greek Week, Yoo said. A local distributor of Anheuser-Busch is paying for the talk, which will be taking place in 26-100.

Tomorrow marks the Strat's Rat concert featuring Zed Bacchus and other bands from the local area. The concert is open to everyone and is free of charge at Lobdell Food Court.

Progressive Dinners will be taking place on Thursday. Individual FSILGs will host dinners at their houses, where diners are treated to finger foods, conversation, and an atmosphere reminiscent of Residence and Orientation Week, Anbar said.

Unlike past dinners, this year involves great organization with pre-planned groups that will go from house to house. People will divide up into groups and start with a sorority before filling their stomachs at various houses.

Non-FSILG members are not included in those pre-planned groups. But they are "welcome to come to any houses," Anbar said.

Community service plays a role

The Order of Omega Honorary Fraternity is sponsoring Greek Week's newest addition: a community service event on Saturday.

All students are welcome to earn a free lunch by donating some time to one of the six different activities directed to help the Cambridge and Boston community.

Groups will convene at the Student Center at 11 a.m. to go to the Boston Food Bank, a women's crisis shelter, and a number of other places to donate their time for community service.

Throughout the week, FSILGs will compete through "Jar Wars," a fundraiser held in Lobby 10. The FSILG whose jar contains the most wins the event. The winning FSILG will donate half of the accumulations to the charity of its choice, and the rest will go to the Special Olympics.

"Everyone seems to be eager to see how Greek Week turns out because there are many more plans in the works than last year," Anbar said. "And success in the differences that have been made to Greek Week can be attributed to the guidance of older members in IFC."

"That's what makes things better every year, and hopefully, it'll continue in the future," Anbar said.

The week culminates in Saturday night's Greek Week Charity Ball, a dance open to the MIT community. Admission costs $5 at the door and $4 in advance from a booth that is set up this week in Lobby 10. The event, which is taking place in Morss Hall in Walker Memorial, will run from 9 p.m. to midnight.