By Sydney Janes, Panhellenic VP of Programming
For those coming into our Greek community, get ready: together, we are force! We are a power for good and we are filled with change-makers who are ready to positively affect those around us.
Who makes up our community? Great question. We are made up of four of the strongest councils, and we are being led by some of the greatest leaders on campus.
At South Carolina, the College Panhellenic Association is the subset campus organization that supports 13 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) chapters on our campus.
The Interfraternity Council (IFC) oversees 20 USC fraternity chapters.
The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) is the umbrella group for our cultural-based organizations, and represents five USC organizations.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization for nine fraternities and sororities, all of which are represented at USC.
Why do I think this community is the best? When I say we are a community, I mean it. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders; we support each other whenever possible, and some of us even call each other neighbors. The most important aspect of our community is we understand individual successes allow for communal successes because at the end of the day, we are all Greek.
Since being elected to serve as VP of Programming, I have been on a mission to create
events that remind us how fortunate we are to be Greek at the University of South Carolina. Our community is big and our university is bigger, so when we work together, our impact is enormous. Last semester, when I planned Greek Week 2018, a week in April featuring activities centered on unity and fun, the week’s tagline was “Together We Stand”. For the first time ever, we welcomed 13 deserving and purpose-driven student organizations to join us in the tradition. Teams represented, served, and fundraised for the service organizations all week with the hope of being crowned Greek Week Champion! The 13 service organizations we partnered with, as well as their information, can be found at the end of this blog.
My goal was to unite not only Greeks, but also our campus community! The week was for every person to understand the power of our community with events like MGC cultural food fest and Greek Life Through the Ages, a powerful time when all chapters were encouraged to share their history and traditions in front of the Carolina community. We are fortunate to have many chapters with many members, so we wanted to remind everyone that the heartbeats of our chapters are not just our chapter leaders. It is the university that has welcomed our organizations with open arms. We are fitting into the university, not the other way around.
Personally, the week was one of the biggest highlights of my college career because this community means the world to me. It was an honor to create a week that I hope encouraged people to step out of their comfort zone and, no matter the letters, proudly stand next to each other as teammates and friends. My sisterhood is one of my greatest treasures because it has been my home; my sisters have been pillars for me as I have continually dreamt big. When I think I am crazy, they tell me to dream bigger! My sisterhood is just one of the many organizations that makes this community feel like home to thousands of Carolinians. I want outsiders to know not just about the good we do for others, but the good we do for each other.
I came to the University of South Carolina on a mission. My goal was to be bold and take risks. This community has lit a fire in me and I want others to see why I think we are so special. The Greek community has allowed me to stand out, hone my talents and be my best. No matter where you are in life, find a group of people that pushes you towards success like this community has done for me. College is a time to find YOUR passions and YOUR purpose. No matter where you go or what letters you wear, go with endurance because once you find your purpose, you won’t be able to stop.
Gamecock Reach, http://www.gamecockreach.org/
Carolina Homelessness Outreach, https://www.facebook.com/usccho/
Together We Rise, https://www.togetherwerise.org
Students Helping Honduras, http://shhkids.org
International Justice Mission, https://www.ijm.org
Dream Outside the Box, http://dreamoutsidethebox.org
Student United Way, https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/groups/student
Active Minds, https://www.activeminds.org
Timmy Global Health, https://timmyglobalhealth.org
Waverly After School, http://web.sa.sc.edu/waverlycenter/Volunteers.html
Gamecocks Aiding Refugees, https://www.facebook.com/uscgarc/
Cocky’s Canine PAALS, https://paals.org/programs/