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Greek Week a time to foster connections, sense of community

Barry McNamara
Monmouth College fraternity and sorority members assembled on the steps of the Huff Athletic Center during last year's Greek Week. This year, the week will be held March 17-23.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – An air of mystery surrounds this year’s Greek Week at Monmouth College, which will be held March 17-23.

The week celebrating fraternity and sorority life on campus will include an escape room and a mystery-themed trivia night, both created by one of the co-directors of the festivities, Rachel Book ’19 of Byron, Ill.

Ashley Maurer ’19 of Fairbury, Ill., is the other co-director.

“Greek Week is a chance for all the fraternities and sororities to get together for some friendly competition,” said Maurer. “It connects all the organizations. There aren’t a lot of events during the year where we all get to come together like this. It builds that sense of community.”

A biochemistry major, Book went all out in creating the escape room, even using the College’s 3-D printer to create one of the props. The room will be based in the College’s forensics lab in the Center for Science and Business, and chemistry professor Audra Sostarecz will speak to the students about fingerprinting.

“It was really neat to see the creativity of the Greek Week committee, and to see how some of their ideas came from their academic interests,” said Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Max Seisser.

There will also be an air of mystery at the March 22 awards banquet, as no one yet knows the identity of the Greek group that will take home the coveted Excellence in Chapter Operations honor. The top individual awards to be presented are the Greek Woman and Greek Man of the Year.

What’s not a mystery is the purpose of week, which will also include a blood drive, laser tag and a talent show, which will incorporate mystery references.

“Greek Week is an opportunity to really highlight fraternity and sorority life on campus and to show the positives that often aren’t seen,” said Seisser. “It’s also an opportunity to go back to the meaning of what Greek organizations are supposed to be about – making connections, giving back, doing good things and helping the community.”

Forging community connections was a big part of the planning process, he said.

“When I worked with the committee on organizing the week, they said, ‘We want this to go locally.’ They understand the larger community they’re a part of,” said Seisser.

In the days leading up to Greek Week and throughout the week itself, fraternities and sororities are holding Penny Wars. The money raised will go to Western Illinois Animal Rescue, which provides assistance in caring for homeless and abandoned pets and animals. A supply drive is also being held for the Monmouth organization.

In addition to the blood drive, which will be held from 12:30-5:15 p.m. March 18 in the Huff Athletic Center, the College’s Greek organizations will also take part in a day of service from 9 a.m.-noon March 23.

“The service opportunity is not just for students involved in fraternity and sorority life,” said Seisser. “We want them to work with other students across campus and make connections.”