Greek Week: Is it worth it?

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For Greek Week, all my classes were cancelled, and someone covered all my shifts at work so I could attend every event easily and without stress.

That is not true, nor can it ever be true for any intensive, weeklong event at which my absence would be noted. Yet, Greek Week exists.

Greek Week is a yearly celebration in which fraternities and sororities are paired together to compete in multiple mandatory events, like tug-of-war and dodgeball. The Rollins website describes this annual event as a time for “celebrating our values of brotherhood/sisterhood, philanthropy, and learning.”

Students are strongly encouraged to participate as much as possible, and if they are not in class but also not actively competing in a Greek Week event, their attendance is still required. Students have to submit their class schedules in order to be excused from an event – class is the only acceptable excuse.

Work, including work-study, non-Greek organization meetings, and required school-related events outside of the recorded class schedule are not considered valid reasons for missing an event. But deducting points from an organization whose members are involved in other groups on campus or who hold jobs–possibly to help pay for tuition or the dues of their organization–does little to rally Greek spirit.

Should some unfortunate soul skip an event in favor of going to work or going to a tutoring appointment, the penalty is a deduction of points for their fraternity or sorority, which seems like a minor detail in what could otherwise be a casual, fun event. That detail, however, is what takes the potential in Greek Week and turns it into a competitive mess for the organizations. For individual brothers and sisters, events designed to be fun instantly become a reason to worry about all the homework you are not doing when you are standing in the Florida heat or drowning in the cheers of dozens of strangers.

There is a wonderful sentiment somewhere at the core of Greek Week – which I assume is “love not only your own sisters or brothers, but also those in other sororities and fraternities” – and that is awesome. We do need to be brought together every once in a while. But in a school like Rollins, where everyone is encouraged to find their anchor (or, preferably, anchors), however and wherever they can, Greek Week is an unrealistic way for involved students to celebrate the values of Greek life on campus.

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