Penn’s first annual Multicultural Greek Council Symposium, held at the ARCH on Saturday, April 12, saw an attendance of 145.
Much of the symposium was about “explaining what it means to be Greek,” Wharton and College junior and MGC president Peixin Mo said . The day made people “feel a lot more empowered,” said Kenneth Jones, program coordinator for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
The event was open to all MGC members and advisors, as well as anyone “interested in learning more,” Jones said . Attendees included 25 students from local high schools and representatives from 17 multicultural greek organizations from across Philadelphia. “It was really funny hearing about their stereotypes of Multicultural Greek organizations [from the high school attendees],” Mo said.
Workshops explored ideas such as the place of the MGC community in Philadelphia, the role of MGC advisors and how chapters with very small membership can organize large scale initiatives. It’s “easy [for MGC members] to kind of stay in their bubbles,” Jones said, explaining that the symposium worked to make members “more engaged and reinvigorated,” about ways to enhance MGC visibility.
Another key theme was “how to engage the university,” Jones added, outlining the importance of “helping [people] to understand the culture of our organization.”
The day also included a talk by keynote speaker Lawrence Ross , author of “The Divine Nine,” a book about historically black fraternities and sororities.
The symposium finished with a showcase of MGC stepping and strolling, a tradition of many MGC fraternities and sororities.