Despite attempting to unify the many Greek councils, the third annual Greek Week, which wraps up today, received mixed reviews from council leadership.
All five Greek councils were invited to participate in the weeklong event, which included an all-Row Monday Night Dinner and a new member luau on Wednesday for all new Greeks, both of which had as many as 300 students participate.
“Increased participation is an overall goal,” said Laura Redfern, vice president of communications for the Panhellenic Council. “We want to expand our diversity and include multiple Greek councils.”
Redfern said that interaction between the councils in the last few years has been limited to the Panhellenic and Intrafraternity Councils. This year, however, both IFC and Panhellenic are actively attempting to boost cooperation with other non-Row councils through events such as Greek Week.
“We as a council have made a concentrated effort to reach out to other Greek councils to make sure they felt included and invited and are coming out to the events,” IFC president Nick Hamada said.
Francis Sandoval, president of the Multicultural Greek Council, said the council had looked forward to Greek Week as a way to get more involved in USC Greek life and raise awareness about the importance of other councils.
In the end, however, Sandoval said she was disappointed with the number of MGC members that turned out.
But she said she thought all the councils, not just IFC and Panhellenic, should be involved in planning Greek Week in order to increase attendance across councils.
“I think because MGC is not involved in the planning for [Greek Week], the members of MGC are not as encouraged to attend,” she said.
Taren Fujimoto, a senior majoring in print journalism and a member of Delta Phi Kappa, an Asian Greek Council sorority, said the AGC also only had limited involvement in Greek Week.
“As far as the Asian sororities and fraternities are concerned, they aren’t that involved with Greek Week. They kind of see it as an IFC and Panhellenic thing,” Fujimoto said.
Fujimoto said the only outreach she noticed from the other councils was a Facebook invitation to Greek Week events.
One council, however, did see Greek Week as a unifying experience.
Samantha Castro, president of the InterGreek Council, said Greek Week was a great way for IGC to become more involved with other Greeks.
“Before this year, there was a huge distance between us and the rest of the Greek system, and we are trying to unify that gap,” Castro said. “I think we’ve taken a lot of good steps forward.”
This year’s Greek Week also included a new all-Greek Service Day on Tuesday, in addition to other regularly scheduled activities. The philanthropic event, which was initiated by IFC and Panhellenic, had members of the Greek community lead students in making 2,500 sandwiches that were donated to the Los Angeles Mission, a non-profit organization that distributes food to downtown’s Skid Row.
“A big part of Greek life is service in the community … so we wanted to make sure that it was a part of Greek week this year,” said Hamada.
Redfern added that Panhellenic plans to hold all-Greek service days each semester in order to better focus on building a culture of philanthropy and interfraternalism between all Greek councils.
Sandoval said she wants to be involved in planning the All-Greek Service Day. She said that although there has typically been a divide between the fraternities and sororities on the Row, and though Greek Week did not fully succeed in bridging that divide, she wants to continue to work to meld the various councils.
“I think that we do want to work with the other councils,” Sandoval said. “Before everyone was kind of on their own and independent, but now I think we need to work together to improve the Greek community.”