Greek Week organizers seek to unite student body

by Beacon Staff • April 12, 2006

"Emerson's Greek community is pretty small, so taking on this endeavor is a big deal for us," said Sarah Cadieux, vice president of the Greek Council, Emerson's official group that regulates Greek organizations on campus.,Emerson's Greek organizations devoted a week to holding events that would not only bring the community together, but also change the ideas many students might have about fraternities and sororities.

"Emerson's Greek community is pretty small, so taking on this endeavor is a big deal for us," said Sarah Cadieux, vice president of the Greek Council, Emerson's official group that regulates Greek organizations on campus. "We want to show the rest of the school that . we're not your typical state university 'fraternity boys' or 'sorority girls' and our Greek Week programming proves it."

Ian Barbella, a senior film major and member of Zeta Phi Eta, also said he hoped Greek Week, which took place from Friday to Wednesday and was sponsored by the college's seven Greek organizations and Greek Council, would help change people's ideas about Greek organizations.

According to Cadieux and Barbella, Emerson's Greek life is different from most colleges in that they focus more on philanthropy, events and support of others.

"It's a fun week for us to meet you and you to meet us," Barbella said. "It's trying to close down walls of stereotypes. It's hard to get attendance sometimes because the school has a stigma to the idea of Greek life . but between the people involved, we have every major."

This year, money raised from the events will be going to "Labels are for Jars," a Lawrence, Mass.-based organization, dedicated to eliminating stereotypical labels that are often branded on the less fortunate. Proceeds will help feed the hungry and homeless of the city of Lawrence, the poorest city in the state, according to Cadieux, a junior theatre education major.

Cadieux said the week was a good way for fraternities and sororities to reach out to the Emerson community.

"Having so many different types of events is a great way to get as many students involved in the programming as possible because you don't have to be in a Greek organization to attend," said Cadieux.

Among the more popular events, Cadieux said, were the kissing booth, open-mic night and dance night.

There was a "Greek God and Goddess Competition," where members from each group competed for the title of being a Greek God or Goddess in a talent show, which often attracts at least 100 audience members, according to Andy Michaels, a junior TV/video major, who is also the Greek Council president-elect. There was no winner at press time.

Chad Bates, advisor to the Greek Council, said he thinks Greek Week is important at Emerson College not only for its social value, but for its ability to attract attention to important causes.

The annual Cue for a Cure, a billiards event that raises money for cancer research held during Greek Week and hosted by Zeta Phi Eta, usually has the highest attendance rate, according to Michaels.

Some non-Greek-affiliated students who attended the events, such as freshman marketing communication major Nidhi Makhija, said they found the Greek community to be welcoming.

Makhija, who went to Friday night's open mic, said although the event drew only about eight people, it ended up becoming a comedy workshop where students could share their material.

"It actually turned out to be really fun," she said. "Everyone was really friendly."