Annual Greek Awards ceremony gets a red carpet makeover

By AVA CARVOUR
Contributing Writer

Co-chairs of Greek Awards Committee Reighr Doughty, '14, and Katie Shanahan, '14, prepare to announce an award at Wednesday night's Greek Awards ceremony. COURTESY OF AMY SAPLIO

Wednesday night premiered an entirely new spin on Allegheny’s annual Greek Awards ceremony. This year a red carpet theme replaced the traditionally casual event, which recognizes individual chapters and members of the Greek community for their various achievements in scholarship, philanthropy and other realms of life.

The award ceremony developed to provide peer recognition and foster a sense of community, said Katie Shanahan, ’14, Panhellenic vice president of community development and co-chair of the Greek Awards Committee.

“It was rumored to be a sham event,” she added, explaining that the committee aimed to make the environment more serious with a semi-formal dress code, a reception before the ceremony and more competitive criteria for winning awards.

Maddie Georgi, '13, started off the student acts with a performance of "Come Together" by the Beatles. COURTESY OF AMY SAPALIO
A free-flowing chocolate fountain, punch and a photobooth, complete with props, complemented the reception preceding the ceremony. Students performed entertainment acts between awards, and appearances were made by both President James Mullen and Parkhurst employee Yvonne Longstreth.

The selection process this year was more competitive than past years due to the elimination of the possibility for every chapter to win an award, said Panhellenic vice president of public relations Tito Aderemi-Ibitola, 14.

Each fraternity and sorority chapter sent a representative to form a committee to nominate Greek organizations for awards.

“The committee increased in competition in order to energize and encourage Allegheny’s Greek chapters,” Aderemi-Ibitola added.
Reighr Doughty, ’14, events chair of the Inter-Fraternity Council and co-chair of the Greek Awards Committee, said that the increased competition to receive awards, including those recognizing philanthropy work, encouraged each chapter to strive to perform the best it could.

“We added competition to get awards, like Outstanding Philanthropy and Chapter of the Year so chapters would step up their games,” he said.

The Greek Awards also provided one of the rare opportunities for all of Greek life to congregate.

“I was excited to see everyone from the different chapters experiencing camaraderie since they were rarely all in the same place,” Aderemi-Ibitola said.

Kyle Greenberg, '13, and Benjamin Hedin, '12, dig into the chocolate fountain at the Greek Awards reception. COURTESY OF BEAU MORAN

The Greek Awards is an opportunity for Allegheny’s entire Greek community to come together.

“It creates excitement from other chapters, despite discrepancies between them,” said committee member Victoria Grimm, ’13. “These awards are one of the few opportunities that remind all that we are one Greek Life, one whole, and we can come together and support each other.”

The Greek Awards also incorporated the rest of the Allegheny community into the ceremony, including individuals unaffiliated with Greek Life.

Among such awards are Friends of Meadville (won by Phi Kappa Psi) and Friend of Greek Life (won by head of Parkhurst Scott Steiner) as well as an award intended specifically for a faculty member (Professor of Economics John Golden won Professor of the Year).

“[The Greek Awards] counteract reputation and stereotypes by showing a community of college students actually helping our community,” said Grimm.

The ultimate goal of this year’s Greek Awards Committee was to try something new, said Shanahan.

“[It’s] a way to celebrate achievements of the past,” she added.

There are plenty of achievements to be rewarded within the Greek community.

“Greek life does a lot for the campus, and we recognize amazing people doing amazing things,” Aderemi-Ibitola said.

In future years the campus will see if this year’s bigger, bolder Greek Awards ceremony has set a new standard for the traditional event.