Going Greek at Illinois Tech

When I came to Illinois Tech, as a freshman, straight out of high school, I had no intention of even considering Greek life on campus. In our society today, many people equate Greek life with partying, drinking, and hazing, and I was among the many that did. Little did I know how wrong I was.

Within the first two days on campus, I found myself at one of our fraternity houses playing Settlers of Catan with a few guys. Later, I found myself coming back to the quad to every recruitment event that week. I had no idea I was being recruited! These men were not looking to take me out to parties or anything you might see while watching Animal House, they were looking to share a brotherhood based in values and camaraderie that is hard to find on a college campus these days. So I joined. I became one of the many people in our Greek system who raise their hand when asked the question, “who here did not think they’d ever go Greek before they came to college?”

Greek life at Illinois Tech is about so much more than what you may think Greek life entails. We are one of the most positive Greek experiences around at universities today, because we have turned the focus away from what Greek organizations have become, and instead focus on what our founders originally wanted from us. We better the community through philanthropy and community service. We give back to Illinois Tech through supporting and leading many of its organizations. We build friendships that will last a lifetime, through bonds that just cannot be replicated through life in the dorms. People often ask me what the point of joining my fraternity is, or what our goal as an organization is, and I believe my answer speaks for every Greek organization on our campus when I say, “We seek to take good men and make them great.”

Peter Zurowski, Chemical Engineering, 5th year co-terminal

Greek Week

Greek Week is one of those great things about IIT that you don’t hear about on a campus tour. During one week at the end of each spring semester, all 10 Greek chapters at IIT compete in daily competitions that test athletic prowess, brainpower, creativity, and teamwork. The diverse line-up of events gives everyone an opportunity to contribute to their chapter’s success.

The community takes Greek Week pretty seriously. Each chapter chooses a theme for the week and dresses up in costume for most of the events. Chapters also make impressive banners of their theme for the front of their houses. Banners are often huge projects that sometimes involve laser cutting, lighting elements, and carpentry. (Would you expect anything else from engineering and architecture students?) The events are scored by faculty and student judges and a winner is determined at the end of the week.

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The proximity of the houses makes Greek Week especially fun. Unlike most schools that have Greek rows off campus, all of IIT’s houses surround a big, grassy quad at the heart of campus. Because everyone is so close together, events are highly attended and the festivities often continue after their official end. The quad is alive all week; music is always playing out of huge speakers that houses bring outside. People toss Frisbees and footballs, enjoying the warm weather and company.

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Greek Week is kind of like that show “Who’s Line is it Anyways?” Although there’s a winner at the end of the week, the points don’t really matter. The best part of Greek Week is that it’s an excuse to get together. It’s a great time to meet people, celebrate your chapter, be silly, and just have fun.

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