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Greek communities can communicate charity and care!
Ramesh C. Reddy
As nations of the world gathered in Greece for the Olympic Games, they all were part of the Olympic community. As incoming students settle down at the University of Pittsburgh, the Greek alphabet takes center stage for many students.
The Olympics from Greece are all over now but the Greek alphabet introduces students to another community on campus. It is the community of fraternities and sororities on campus.
Just as the Olympics had opening ceremonies, where athletes representing their nation walked proudly displaying their flag, this community had their own opening ceremonies called, ‘Meet the Greeks’ held in the William Pitt Union where each fraternity and sorority proudly introduced some of their members to future recruits as they enthusiastically displayed their Greek letters.
After the Olympic ceremonies were over, the games began. In the same way, after ‘Meet the Greeks’ ended, the games began with ‘Greek Kickoff Week’ where all the groups came together for some friendly competition.
In the Olympics, people got medals for representing their nation with a victory. In a similar fashion, members of fraternities and sororities who win in friendly competition against each other win trophies.
The Olympic Games has the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to oversee the Olympic Games and set ethical standards according to the Olympic charter. Each nation could have their own code of ethics for their athletes but the IOC overlooks the Olympics. In the same way, the Greek community at Pitt has their own charters that set ethical guidelines for their individual fraternities and sororities but three groups oversee the individual groups.
The Inter Fraternity Council (IFC) oversees the fraternities in the Greek community; the Pan-Hellenic Council (PHC) oversees the sororities in the Greek community; and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) oversees predominantly the African-American fraternities and sororities on campus.
To be part of the Olympic Games, each athlete of each nation has to win in their Olympic trials at home to become part of the Olympic team. In a similar way, students of the Pitt community who want to be part of a Greek organization have the opportunity to take part in Rush events to determine which organization they want to be part of and wait to see who will recruit them.
Just as the Olympics trials have rules of fair play where illegal substances and activity is prohibited, the Greek organizations also have strict policies for fair play where illegal activities such as allowing under aged drinking and hazing, among other things are strictly prohibited. If athletes are found guilty they could be suspended and even banned from the Olympic Games by the IOC. In the same way, if a Greek organization is found guilty of hazing and other illegal activities, they could be suspended and even banned from the Greek community. No Greek community wants that on their record instead they want to be seen as the best community for incoming students to join.
Students have reasons for joining fraternities and sororities.
Adrian Gianforti, a Pitt sophomore decided not to be like a turtle hiding under the shell in her freshman year, so she peeked out and found Chi Omega (ΧΏ) sorority and joined it.
“I was an out-of-stater freshman and I was looking for a way to meet people and do community service”, said Gianforti.
Jason O’Toole, a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ) echoed Gianforti’s reasons.
“To meet new people and make friends”, said O’Toole.
Whether you are looking to join a fraternity or sorority it is important to get to know their history and choose the one that will help you be more community oriented so you can give back not only to the community but touch lives of those you come in contact with through charity and care.
You will now be taken through a tour of the different Greek organizations that were available and willing to be photographed to provide you a glimpse of Greek alphabets in action with few of their members.
Photos By Ramesh C.
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