Greek Week, at your service

BY JOSEPH BELK | APRIL 12, 2010 7:30 AM

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More than 2,000 Easter eggs dotted the Hubbard Park landscape on Sunday afternoon as local families lined up on the sidewalk.

Dozens of children, their faces decorated in tiger stripes and Hawkeye-theme war paint, waited anxiously to take the field.

“Get as many as you want,” University of Iowa senior Kim Riha shouted to the children. “Go. Go.”

Parents followed closely behind as the youngsters scurried onto the field, filling their bags with the treats. Within minutes, nearly every plastic egg had been accounted for.

The Easter egg hunt capped off a day of activities at the UI Fraternity & Sorority Life’s “Spring into the Season with the Greeks,” the first event in this year’s Greek Week.

Greek life officials advertised the festivities to faculty and staff by e-mail, urging them to bring their kids.

“We try to diversify our service events as much as possible,” said Katie Langesen, a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Life.

Langesen said these community-focused events help address unfavorable perceptions.
“Historically, I think there’s so many negative stereotypes about greek life,” she said.

Fran Gilbert, a member of the Greek Week executive council, said she volunteers at Weber Elementary and told her students about the event.

Sunday’s service event was the greek system’s first springtime project aimed at kids. Last semester, the system sponsored “Trick or Treat with the Greeks.”

Deb Guild, a dietitian at the UI Hospital and Clinics, attended both the Halloween event and Sunday’s festivities.

Guild said she enjoys the greek community’s recent emphasis on family activities, noting the events are becoming more organized.

Emily Beck tagged along as her 6-year-old daughter Lily did origami with volunteers at a table blanketed in colored paper, pinwheels, and paper hats.

“It was a nice surprise,” Beck said about the event.

The West Branch resident typically comes to Iowa City for Sunday church service with her daughter, and the function seemed like an ideal way to spend their afternoon.

Afterward, the two planned to walk to the Iowa River to watch the ducks.

Around 150 volunteers from UI fraternities and sororities offered their assistance throughout the day in the kick-off to Greek Week, Langesen said.

Greek Week will continue with a blood drive from noon to 6 p.m. today in the IMU second-floor ballroom.

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