FSL’s 2023 Greek Week celebrates big and small wins

the annual week of festivities raises money for a local charity

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photo by Louis Cocco '23 | sisters of alpha chi omega perform at greek week

Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL)’s Greek Week kicked off on Sunday, Apr. 16 with a field day at Alumni Courts. The eight on-campus organizations competed in tug-of-war, a kickball tournament and a water balloon toss for points toward the Greek Week trophy, held in 2022 by Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) and Delta Zeta (DZ). The reigning champions held the lead after the first day, going into the Penny Wars competition, where Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (Panhel) Executive Board and chapter members tabled in Seegers Union to raise money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Lehigh Valley. Panhellenic President Hilary Rappaport ‘24 says that they chose this organization “to create a long-term relationship… We felt that their mission statement aligned with our community values.”

The second day of competition ended in Canstruction, a new event where each team provided their own donations of canned goods and constructed them into sculptures for the theme, “What does Muhlenberg mean to you?” There were 1,043 cans donated to the Jewish Family Services of the Lehigh Valley, with the event following Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi)’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Walk. IFC President Justin Billich ‘24 says that “Jewish Family Services of Lehigh Valley was another one that just made sense. Knowing that Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) was during Greek Week, we wanted to do something out of respect for our Jewish community on campus.”

At Greek Feud on Tuesday, Apr. 17, a “Family Feud” style trivia game feud, the competition heated up on stage in the Event Space, with Billich and Rappaport hosting seven rounds, crowning Phi Sigma Sigma (Phi Sig) the winner. ATO President Matt Van Burik ‘24 said: “Greek Feud this year hit us hard. On Sunday we had come first in all the athletic events so losing in the first round and not getting any points really disappointed us and hurt our morale.”

The winner of Canstruction, Alpha Chi Omega (AXO), was also announced at Greek Feud, as well as the banner competition winner. This year’s Greek Week theme was TV sitcoms, and each banner hung up at the letter houses with designs correlating to each chapter’s TV sitcom. The winners were ATO’s “The Office” and DZ’s “Friends” banners. 

“I hope that during recruitment, members will be able to reflect on this week and how the Panhellenic experience is a large part of their time in their organizations.”

-Hilary Rappaport ’24

On Wednesday, Apr. 18, another new event, Wear ‘Em Wednesday, was introduced and asked chapter members to check in at the Penny Wars tables wearing their letters. Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) and Phi Sig reached 100% of their members “wearing ‘em.” The week’s competition ended with a corn hole tournament back at Alumni Corts, where both ATO and DZ won, going into dress rehearsals for Greek Sing the following evening.

Greek Sing is an annual award ceremony celebrating chapter accomplishments and outstanding members of FSL. The performance aspect is the highlight for many chapters, where reigning champions Delta Tau Delta (DTD) and AXO brought storytelling and elaborate dance numbers to the stage. The ceremony was hosted by Campus Safety Officer Alexander Pantaleo. IFC and Panhel members of the year were awarded by Billich and Rappaport to Jack Younes ‘23 and Britney Jara ‘23 for their outstanding contributions to the FSL community. Younes was the 2022 IFC President and Jara was the first Panhel VP of Operations and Rho Gammas in 2022. This new position is succeeded by Sam Miley ‘24, who also announced the new Rho Gammas during the show. 

Giving these awards was Rappaport’s highlight of the week: “Greek Sing is the final event of the week, where the community comes together to celebrate our achievements and to see each chapter’s performances. Justin and I were given the opportunity to lead the award ceremony. I was able to give some of my closest friends their Member of the Year awards… [I also received my] pass-down gavel, which was unexpected. This moment made me proud of my accomplishments and reminded me of how supported I am by my peers.”

“We utilized our community organizing skills to rally our people around this wonderful cause, and it totally paid off!”

-Emily Kolodney ’24

At the end of Greek Sing, Billich and Rappaport announced the final fundraising count, $7,149, going to BBBS, which Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership Natalie Shaw said is her favorite part of the week. Shaw commented, “Each time we have a large event I say I couldn’t be prouder and I’m always proven wrong!” Regarding the highly anticipated awards, Shaw explained, “At the end of the day, a trophy (though they may be cool) is only with the winning chapter for a short amount of time but the other parts of the week are going to be what you look back on and remember the most.” The winners of the week were, ATO and DZ, and the winners of Greek Sing, DTD and AXO, were all awarded trophies. Van Burik said, “Corn hole and penny wars allowed us to bring it back and win it all. After it had ended I was very proud of my brothers and happy that we could bring that trophy home for another year.”

Looking back on the week, Bilich will remember the outstanding philanthropy efforts of the FSL community: “I recall checking… before I went to sleep on Wednesday, and checked again Thursday morning and saw the number increase by almost $1,000 overnight. Our community went above and beyond.” DZ President Emily Kolodney ‘24 explained her team’s strategy: “The fundraising we did for Penny Wars is definitely what united us the most this week. We met to plan how we were going to fundraise–calling and asking family members, friends, colleagues and more. We utilized our community organizing skills to rally our people around this wonderful cause, and it totally paid off!”

Looking forward to the rest of the year, Rappaport said, “I hope that during recruitment, members will be able to reflect on this week and how the Panhellenic experience is a large part of their time in their organizations.”

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Alex Caban-Echevarria ’23 is double majoring in media & communication and English. She is the Assistant Editor of the Allentown Voice, a non-profit student journalism lab and a Pro Publica Emerging Reporter for the 2022-2023 academic year.

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