Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
For most of this week, the pedals of two stationary bikes in the Ohio Union will be in motion. Individuals representing the Greek community at Ohio State will be taking turns riding to raise support for Greek Week.
Greek Week, a week of games and service events for fraternities and sororities, is benefitting several organizations around Columbus. It is also raising awareness and rider support for Pelatonia, a Columbus-based grassroots charity bike ride that benefits the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Insitute.
Through numerous awareness-raising events between Saturday and May 6, Greek Week coordinators hope to galvanize the OSU Greek community to participate in Pelotonia.
Meagan Woodall, co-president of Greek Week, wanted to choose a large and impacting philanthropy. Pelotonia offered the perfect opportunity, she said.
“The philanthropy is a radical departure from the past in the sense that nothing we have done has ever been this physical, so there hasn’t been as much of a physical investment in our philanthropy,” said Woodall, a fourth-year in political science. “We hope that Pelotonia will be our ongoing philanthropy in the future.”
Woodall said she was motivated by the lack of Greek involvement in Pelotonia last year.
“Only nine out of 275 riders identified as Greeks last year,” she said. “We want to increase awareness of Pelotonia in a Greek community of more than 4,000 students. And we hope to register more than nine riders. Most of what we’re doing right now is raising awareness.”
Greek Week coordinators said they hope to bring the community together for various events, including an awareness ceremony Tuesday in the Union. The ceremony will feature former OSU football player Craig Krenzel, who will encourage people to sign up for Pelotonia. Throughout the week, at least one Greek student will ride a stationary bike in the Union, Woodall said.
“It’s an event called Peddling for Pelotonia,” said Alexandra Wells, a second-year in nutrition and Greek Week executive board member. “We have Greeks sign up to ride … it represents the ongoing struggle against cancer.”
Each fraternity or sorority is organized into one of 14 teams, and these teams compete in games, talent competitions and other activities for Greek Week points, Woodall said. At the end of the week, whichever team has the most points is awarded a prize.
“It’s cool to do stuff with your pairing and to get to know them,” said Acacia programming director Zach Bell, a third-year in history. “This is a good way to know that you’re part of a larger community.”
Woodall, however, did not disclose what the prize would be for the top pairing at the end of the week.
The weekend leading up to Greek Week consisted of three major activities, including the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show, a combination of outdoor activities called the Greek Games and a talent show, Greek Gods and Goddesses. The community was scheduled to pick up cans around off-campus areas, but this event was canceled due to hail Saturday morning, Woodall said.
Major events this week include the Greek Variety Show dance competition on Thursday and Excellence to Eminence, a networking event that will feature speakers from the OSU community who will talk about what it means to be Greek during and after college. Woodall said she expects more than 2,300 people to attend the Variety Show alone, based on last year’s attendance.
But above all, some OSU Greeks stressed that community service remains the main focus of the week.
“Greek week isn’t a purely social thing,” Woodall said. “There is a lot of planning to make this about what the community stands for.”
Wells said the week is about more than Greek life.
“It’s not just a bunch of Greeks going crazy,” Wells said. “And we are looking to get the entire campus involved.”