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Pre-Rush Festivities Underway

By Tania D. Das

The MIT Panhellenic Association, the Interfraternity Council and the Living Group Council held Greek Week from Sept. 6 through 12, after several years of its absence.

“This is a great start to bring all the Greek organizations closer together considering the less than impressive interaction between them in previous years,” said IFC member Bruce Au ’04.

Through the week, all MIT students were able to learn more about fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups at MIT through competitive group events.

Greek Week separate from Rush

According to the MIT Rush Web site, Greek Week is a time for the community FSILGs at MIT to come together to learn about other members of the Greek community as well as pique the interest of non-affiliated students.

However, Greek Week is not be confused with Rush. Joshua S. Yardley ’04, the IFC Recruitment Chair, said that “[Greek Week’s] primary purpose is to allow for opportunities for the FSILG community to come together in a good-natured environment and build relationships that might not otherwise be possible in the heat of Rush.”

For the first time in MIT history, Rush has been moved from the middle of Orientation to Sept. 20. Rush focuses on recruiting freshmen into Greek life whereas this past week encouraged all non-affiliated students to learn about FSILGs.

Activities encompass FSILG ideals

Numerous activities were coordinated by Greek Week co-chairs Alex D. Forrest ’04 and Jyoti Agarwal ’03 to celebrate the five major areas in which members feel they have benefitted from joining an FSILG: athletics, academics, community service, leadership, and social aspects. Activities included the Greek Olympics, Powderpuff football, an Academic Bowl, and a Multicultural Event with the Institute.

FSILGs were randomly separated into teams of two or three and participated for the rest of the week with their team. “The idea was that competition would facilitate participation ... I think it worked quite well,” Au said. Au is a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, teamed with Alpha Tao Omega and Alpha Epsilon Phi. “They wanted us to know each [house] more through the games,” he said.

The Greek week committee also encouraged all participating living groups to make a pledge of service in light of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. This pledge, along with those of all MIT’s living groups, were announced during the Sept. 11 Memorial Event.

The winning team for each category will be announced at the awards ceremony today.

Turnout lower than expected

Members of FSILGs were skeptical about the week’s effect on freshmen. Nu Delta Rush Chair Siddartha Sen ’03 said he enjoyed the events and thought they were well organized, but thought the week should have been geared more towards the freshmen class. “We thought the olympics were fun, but I think one of the main purposes of exposing the cooperation and interaction [between the members of FSILGs] was not achieved,” he said.

Sen also expressed concern over Greek week’s draw. According to Sen, the Informational Tables and Letters Day was more effective than most activities because of the highly visible signs. He said that added publicity would have engaged more freshmen.

One possibility for a lower than expected turnout for Greek Week may have been that non-affiliated students were charged an admission fee for the opening ceremony. An entrance fee will also be charged for today’s awards ceremony.