This Sunday the IU Auditorium will feature 19 sororities in a beauty pageant, but only one sorority will have a sister crowned Miss Greek IU.
Miss Greek IU is an annual philanthropy event where participating sororities send one member to compete for their house. It is organized by the Delta Chi fraternity, and proceeds go to the V Foundation for Cancer Research and each chapter’s philanthropic organizations.
Junior Alex Smith, Delta Chi’s philanthropy chair, said he and his philanthropy board have been preparing since last August. His fraternity has had donation dinners leading up to the event to raise money.
He said $65,000 was the record for a single year, and it was set two years ago, when his brother, Matthew Smith now a senior, was philanthropy chair.
In 2016, the fraternity raised about $55,000, Alex Smith said.
“The goal would be to raise a bigger amount and raise more money for cancer research,” Smith said.
Ted Scavino, an alumnus of IU and Delta Chi, was one of the creators of the event. Scavino said he was a freshman when he helped create MGIU as marketing director for philanthropy at Delta Chi. He said he was happy to see the event return for a sixth consecutive year.
“We always talk about being something greater than ourselves, and this really follows the same idea,” Scavino said. “Cancer is something that affects everybody in one way or another, so we are trying to fight this cancer and never give up.”
According to its website, the event has raised more than $182,000 since 2012. Scavino said the event has come a long way since the first contest. He said despite having 2011’s Miss Universe Peru Natalie Vértiz González in their first year as a judge, later years have been more successful financially.
Scavino said the continued success is a sign that MGIU has become a tradition and part of the community.
He said he thought it had become tradition because of the effect the event has on cancer research and the local community. He said he hoped MGIU would remain at IU for years to come, raise money and continue to change perspectives.
Scavino said people tend to perceive greek life in a negative light and, therefore, forget the positives and the outstanding individuals. This event gives those outstanding people a chance to shine, he said.
“It’s something that changes how the world and the IU campus sees the greek system,” Scavino said. “By showcasing the women in greek life, we can show that there’s more than the stereotypes.”
He said every year contestants prove they are more than the stereotypes by demonstrating their academic prowess and their ability to raise money for something greater than themselves. He said it demonstrates that greeks have more to offer the community than the bad.
Smith agreed with Scavino about changing the stereotypes.
“A lot of the stigma is that they are all an entity within the school, but they don’t do things that benefit the community as a whole,” Smith said. “We bring the community together as a whole to raise money for the V Foundation to shed a light on a different aspect of greek life.”
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