Service redefines Greek Week

This year’s Greek Week will shift its focus from competitive skits to classroom service.

Greek Week – which brings sororities, fraternities and multicultural Greek letter organizations together – has partnered with Teach For America to add a service day and renewed purpose.

Teach For America is the University’s largest domestic employer. Eight percent of the Class of 2012 applied to the program.

Hardy Farrow, a senior and a brother of Sigma Chi, worked to help the Inter-Fraternity Council and Panhellenic Association establish the partnership with Teach For America to revamp Greek Week.

“I feel like a lot of kids at GW are interested in serving our community and serving education. I feel like this a great way to get people engaged in the issue,” he said.

Last winter, Farrow organized a Greeks in the Classroom event that brought more than 70 chapter members to classrooms in Southeast and Northeast D.C. He said that enthusiasm inspired the more intensive TFA partnership for Greek Week.

He said that event’s success made him think, “Why not make it bigger?”

Teach For America CEO and founder Wendy Kopp will headline Greek Week with an Oct. 25 speech, featuring a video of Greek alumni who are now TFA corps members. She agreed to be part of Greek Week on one condition: Students must complete a 1,000 hour service challenge.

With a service day Thursday, they met the challenge, bringing students to classrooms across the District to volunteer as reading buddies and talk to younger students about college life.

Farrow said that both the Greek community and TFA were looking to establish a permanent partnership for throughout the year.

“A lot of kids at GW are interested in serving our community and serving education,” he said.

Associate Dean of Students Tim Miller said he is proud of the Greek community’s outreach to TFA. The new service angle adds to the week’s celebratory tone, he said.

“I wouldn’t separate fun and service,” Miller said. “Greek chapters are values-based organizations and they are living their values through this service. Greek Week is a time dedicated to all the best parts of the Greek Experience.”

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