The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Meet the Greeks brings people together

Aaliyah James, a senior management major, strolls along with the other members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at the annual Meet the Greeks event. (Cam’ron Hardy)

Meet the Greeks is an annual event held by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, or NPHC, which is an organization that “is comprised of six of the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities who belong to the NPHC.” 

According to the mission statement on their EIU profile  “The mission of the National Pan-Hellenic Council is to promote cooperation and harmony between member organizations and between members and other campus organizations to develop a positive relationship for the Greek community.” 

The four fraternities affiliated with Eastern’s NPHC are: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and although they were absent for this year’s Meet the Greeks event, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  

The three sororities associated with the NPHC are Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. 

In the past, the Meet the Greeks showcases have been held at the Mellin Steps, located by the Doudna Fine Arts Center. During the beginning of the school year. The showcase consists of a step show with performances from all seven fraternities and sororities, short intermissions and the occasional musical chairs game. 

This year the NPHC had a different plan in mind. Not only did they change the location of their event, but they also revamped the entire thing. 

The location was moved from the Doudna steps to the Lawson-Taylor basketball court. As opposed to meeting in the late evening, allowing the stars and building lights to highlight the night, they decided to move the event up to the afternoon so everyone could have fun in the sun. 

 The event was scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but due to all the excitement and fun that was being had things got carried away and went into overtime.   

In terms of the event itself, it was more than anyone could expect. They kept the annual showcase theme alive by saving the step show for last. The change that made this event so special was allowing students and attendees to actually meet the Greeks. 

Every year attendees file onto the steps, watch the show and then mix and mingle once the show is over. The focus for this event was inclusivity and exposure.  

“We wanted to make it more homey,” said the current chapter president of Zeta Phi Beta sorority Rafiat Yarrow. “We wanted to make it feel welcoming and have everyone together instead of us having you watching us. We wanted everyone to actually meet the Greeks to get to know us and hang out with us.” 

Members of Alpha Psi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. stroll at the annual Meet the Greeks event at the Lawson Hall basketball courts on Saturday afternoon. (Cam’ron Hardy)

The day consisted of lawn games like big Jenga, cup pong made from trashcans and basketballs, bowling and big connect four. One of the main attractions was jump rope which caught the attention of many onlookers. It got to the point where there were two to three people in the rope at one time. 

Another unique difference the NPHC added to this event was food. They had burgers, hotdogs, chips and drinks available for everyone.  

The NPHC’s mission to bring everyone together and make this event more close-knit was a success.  

By the end of the night everyone seemed more connected. There were more conversions being made, more people sitting with each other instead of being spread out sporadically, which was the case earlier, and it started to feel like a cookout or party of sorts instead of a school-organized event. 

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity member Marshone Gordan shared his feeling about the success of the night. 

From right, Zeta Phi Beta Omicron Delta chapter President Rafiat Yarrow, a senior political science major, strolls with Secretary Jaedah Franks, a junior biology pre-med major, during the Meet The Greeks event Saturday evening, Aug. 26, at the basketball courts outside Lawson and Taylor Hall on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, Ill. Eastern’s sororities and fraternities National Pan-Hellenic Council performed giving an oral history of when their group was founded, chapter was founded, the founding members, and strolling. (Rob Le Cates)

“We’re all just black people who want to succeed, who wanna do better in life so we love to see black people come together and have a good event,” Gordon said. “No violence, food, taking care of each other, supporting each other and uplifting each other instead of tearing each other down. We appreciate the time. It was fun preparing and planning for the event and to do it. It was actually like amazing.” 

Delta Sigma Theta members Trelyn Newkirk and Amari Hurn also expressed their thoughts about the day.  

“I was excited to see everybody show out even though, you know, it was raining or whatever but I’m just proud that everybody was still able to support us and come out for our events.” Newkirk said. “They’ve been showing out at every event that we’ve had so far. So, I’m just happy to see everybody here.” 

“I was looking forward to seeing everybody. Everybody came out, did an amazing job.” Hurn said “I was ready to see the new students, of course, a lot of freshmen, a lot of new students. Just, you know, it was exciting to see everybody come out and, you know, still show love.” 

The showcase at the end gave each NPHC fraternity and sorority a chance to shine a spotlight on their specific organization. There was even a special performance from the co-ed Latino fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda and a surprise performance from Student Life Office Advisor Ariel Taylor as she strolled with the ladies of her sorority Sigma Gamma Rho. 

 

Alexis Moore-Jones can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].
 
 

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About the Contributors
Alexis Moore-Jones
Alexis Moore-Jones, Feature Reporter
Alexis Moore-Jones is a senior broadcast journalism major. This is her first year at The News.
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Rob Le Cates
Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief
Rob Le Cates is a junior journalism major. He previously served as summer editor-in-chief, photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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