Montclair State University Greeks took on a week of fun and excitement with this year’s Greek Week festivities. Much different than most years, each organization was partnered up with another Greek organization to promote unity and have a little fun competition while they were at it.
In past years, Greek Week was a competition that put fraternities up against fraternities and sororities up against sororities to see who would be the winner of the week of events. This year’s rules had a little twist, emphasizing the importance of working together to reach a goal by partnering up two different organizations to work together to reach the goal of Greek Week Champions in the end.
Matthew Lerman, a junior at Montclair State University and the assistant director of Greek Life and Activities, said, “Before I got interviewed for the position, I read over the constitution of what my job description was, and one thing that stuck out to me was that I was meant to bring the Greek community together. Throughout Greek training over the summer, I made some new connections with different people in different organizations that I thought I would never have had because of my mentality that we were separate but equal.
“After realizing that we all have the same end goal and at the end of the day are similar, I realized through what I experienced at Greek training that we needed to build Greek unity. So when the idea to change Greek week was brought to me I knew that it was my job to change it, because it was a way to allow Greeks to make connections and friends they would have never made if they didn’t have the opportunity.“
When asked why he wanted to make this change to the week of competitions. Lerman added, “At the end of the day, it isn’t about winning or losing, because in 25 years when you come back to Montclair, it won’t matter who won, but it will matter that you can shake the hand of a friend you made during the week of events because you were a team and became friends.”
It was clear from the start of the week that this was going to be a very big change for many organizations, and some were not sure how they felt about it. As the week continued, it was clear that the change in the way teams participated was much-needed, and it was a great experience for all involved.
Another new addition to the week of activities was the implementation of a can building competition, that lead to the collection of non perishable foods to be donated to the Montclair State food pantry that is new on campus and feeds students who can not afford a daily meal.
Through this addition to the week, Montclair Greek Life raised a total of over 2,000 nonperishable items, allowing the food pantry to open on Monday, April 18 and stay open through the summer, which would not have been possible without the donations from the Greek community. Greeks also donated $205.00 to the campus food pantry, through a quarter wars competition they held all week.
When asked her feelings on the success of the can collecting and quarter wars competition, Emily Cordero, the coordinator for Greek Life at Montclair State, said, “I think overall it was a huge success for the first year ever doing anything like this. It definitely exceeded our expectations, which is amazing because it gives back to the students in need”.
As the week came to a close, the winners were announced and this year’s Greek Week champions were Sigma Delta Tau and Delta Chi. However, through the emotions felt and heard through the many comments from organizations, it was clear that the week was not about winning, but about the bonds each organization created with their partnered organization. Organizations that never would have worked together before became friends and created a bond that would have never been possible without the new Greek Week set up.
“It was my job to worry about all 38 organizations, not the few that always dominate Greek week,” Lerman said. “I wanted to make it so everyone had a chance and that this feeling many organizations had of not being able to win because they never had before, no longer be a concern. When I saw that people were participating that had never participated before, it made me realize that this is really what Greek unity means: to give everyone the feeling that they have an opportunity to do something great.”