After coming to Hillsdale as a transfer student from a large public university, I never would have pictured myself joining a sorority.
I believed the stereotypes that Greek life involved hazing, fake friendships, and low academic standards. Once I saw that Greek life at Hillsdale was vastly different from the Greek system at my previous school, I decided to go through formal recruitment. Being an only child, I have never experienced the love of a sister. Since joining Chi Omega, I now have the overwhelming love of over 90 women, united under the beautiful guiding words of our symphony.
After joining Chi Omega, I heard about Greek Week and immediately became excited. I have always enjoyed watching sporting events, so going into Greek Week, I was excited to cheer my sisters on in what I expected to be a series of events full of preparation, competition, and sisterhood. Cheering for our house made Greek Week unlike any other event I had attended before.
Since 1951, Hillsdale’s three sororities have gone head to head in a week full of competition. Weeks in advance, the Panhellenic Council, made up of representatives from each sorority, agrees on the games and sets guidelines for everyone to follow.
This year, Kappa Kappa Gamma took its second-ever victory, with Chi Omega following close behind, earning second by just two points, and Pi Beta Phi coming in third. Despite coming in third place and never having claimed victory in Greek Week, the women of Pi Beta Phi made themselves known to the entire room by cheering loudly in support of their sisters.
“We all set out to do certain things and watched them come to fruition that week. I was really proud to see a group camaraderie between the houses and see how much we care about Greek organizations,” junior and Chi Omega President Jaiden Frantz said.
Kappa’s victory meant a lot to not just the current active women but also to the network of alumnae, junior and President of Kappa Kappa Gamma Meghan Dudzic said.
“At the end when they announced that we won, I remember absolutely breaking down and sobbing, turning around and seeing the seniors crying and calling alumnae,” Dudzic said. “It brought together a lot of Kappas — not just actives but alumnae and everyone who has worked so hard since 2006.”
The events this year included jump rope, basketball, and dodgeball, as well as non-athletic events like “finish the lyric” and a fashion show.
I saw how each event had its own energy. Some were tense and silent while others were buzzing with cheers and excitement. During jump rope, my sisters and I held our breath and counted along with our jumpers, while during basketball, all of us screamed and cheered, leaving us with hoarse voices the next day.
Traditionally, Greek Week brings out the competitive nature in each of the houses, uniting them together under a common goal of claiming victory.
For more than 70 years, Chi Omega has won Greek Week, besides 2006, when Kappa Kappa Gamma won the competition. Despite competing against one another in the games, I still felt the unity between myself and my friends in other Greek houses.
“It was really cool to see everyone hyping each other up, regardless of what house they were in,” Frantz said. “I think we were all really impressed by everyone’s hard work.”
This year saw some controversy that threatened to dismantle the unity and beauty that comes from the Greek Week tradition. After day two’s dodgeball competition, users on the anonymous social media app Jodel began discussing allegations of dishonesty during the game, eventually spiraling into personal attacks.
“It was really tough for us to deal with that, as any hate comments are tough to deal with,” Dudzic said. “Inside of the house, it helped us come together, especially for the girls who had it really hard.”
Women in each house reached out to their friends in other houses to ensure they were doing alright, asking if there was anything they could do to support them. They posted pictures with their friends, assuring people that panhellenic relations were still intact.
“While there was a lot of tension, there were also a lot of people who were reaching out,” Dudzic said.
While I certainly felt the weight of the negativity going into the last day, I noticed the effort that all of the houses put into their performances in the remaining games.
Greek Week at Hillsdale brings out a competitive spirit and love for each greek house on campus. In spite of the controversy, I found that Greek women at Hillsdale are still united together under the bonds of sisterhood and the love of fraternal life. Greek Week still served its purpose of uniting sisters within and across houses, showing others our strong panhellenic bonds.