Working with a 1920s “Flappers and Flyboys” theme, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life gave out awards to commend achievements in the Greek community over the last year.
Approximately 250 staff, students and alumni attended the annual Greek Awards ceremony last night at the Sheraton Hotel on 36th and Chestnut streets. Representatives from the Multicultural Greek Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council were all commended for their achievements.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity from the MGC, Chi Omega from Panhel and Phi Gamma Delta, better known as FIJI, from the IFC received most outstanding chapter awards last night.
Awards were also given out to advisors and house managers, to 23 “outstanding Greek leaders” and for academic achievement. Individual chapters were also awarded prizes for their house’s programs, such as recruitment and alumni relations.
It has been a “roller coaster year” for the Greek community, said OFSL Director Scott Reikofski. “We’ve experienced tragedy, change and growth,” he added.
Reikofski reflected on the losses the Greek community has faced this semester and requested a moment’s silence for the students who died earlier this year.
Reikofski also outlined how the Greek community has this year recruited 1,113 new members, meaning that Penn’s total Greek population currently stands at 3,470 students — about 34 percent of undergraduates. This year has also seen the addition of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and Alpha Delta Pi sorority, as well as two new OFSL staff members: Kenneth Jones, the new Program Coordinator, and Program Assistant Tess Eklund.
The evening also saw reflections from old presidents. “There are many negative things which are often connected to Greek life,” said last year’s IFC President and College senior Andrew Turell , “but the examples you set are testimony to the Greek community.”
“I’m unbelievably proud of all we’ve accomplished,” he added, speaking of his IFC board.
College senior and last year’s Panhel President Jessica Stokes kept in line with the evening’s theme and quoted “The Great Gatsby,” describing the Greek community’s “refusal to settle for anything less than excellent.”
She also said January’s Panhel recruitment was “the most challenging and unexpected Panhel has ever seen,” commending the “passion of the council.” She also spoke about the importance of the collaboration across the three Greek councils that the community has seen in the past year.
College junior and MGC board representative Shiv Patel stood in for past MGC president Jonathan Paz, who is currently studying abroad, to talk about MGC’s progress. When Paz ran for president last year, Patel said, he was the only person running for any board position. The team also had to cope with the loss of OFSL Program Coordinator Larry Moses, who died in October 2012.
After rewriting the constitution for the first time in six years and working with new Program Coordinator Jones, in the fall elections “we really realized how much we had achieved,” Patel said. MGC enthusiasm was so improved, the five board positions were extended to seven, and each role was contended except one, Patel said.
College and Wharton junior and current MGC president Peixin Mo described the awards ceremony this year as “exceptionally well-done.”
“It’s never been this good before,” she said. “It’s been an amazing year, and I have great expectations of the year to come.”