Hosting fraternity faces obstacles securing venue and sponsorship
Despite obstacles with facilities and lack of sponsorship, organizers of the second annual Ms. Greek charity pageant are confident that the event will come together for its April 11 deadline.
Ms. Greek, a charity hosted by the Greek system to raise money for the Boulder People’s Clinic, will be held in the Coors Event Center. The pageant raised $35,000 for the clinic last year. Event founder and Sigma Pi member Chris Green said the pageant is a means for the Greek system to show its positive contributions to the community at a time when fraternities and sororities have been cast in a negative light.
“The Greek system has been getting a lot of bad press lately and there hasn’t been a philanthropy that has shown us to be a worthwhile organization in Boulder,” Green said.
The competition is divided into four categories: a fashion walk, school spirit talent, sorority spirit and money raised by each house. To compete in the pageant, each sorority must nominate a delegate to the competition. Each house must also seek out donations from individuals and businesses on behalf of the competitor, which is then donated to the People’s Clinic.
“The People’s Clinic was chosen because it is smaller clinic, Boulder-based and really could use the help. They do a lot of great things for the community and we just wanted to give back to them,” said Arielle Brown, a junior communication major and last year’s pageant winner from Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Green said that despite the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural pageant, the event organizers are still facing challenges for this year.
“We are still facing the issue of getting point across that this is a good idea that is worth people’s donations and worth our effort,” Green said.
Speaking on the lack of sponsorship, Green said that there had been some concern with finding donors for this year’s event, but that he was confident that the organizers would secure the donations. By far, he said, the number one issue facing the Ms. Greek pageant was problems with the facility.
Last year’s event was held at the Millennium Hotel, however, due to the event’s expansion for this year, a larger venue was needed. Green said that fraternities had hoped to hold the event at an on-campus location like Macky Auditorium, but the organizers could not afford it because of the denial of student group facility use rates to fraternities by the university.
Athletic Director and one of the judges from last year Mike Bohn said that he had tried to secure the Coors Event Center for free because it was a charitable event, but was unable to do so.
Green said that he doesn’t want the pageant to become associated with the recent University of Colorado Student Union Fair and Equal Access bill, which would grant fraternities the same facility rates as student groups, but that it was another example of the frustration fraternities have felt with the university.
“We don’t want this pageant to be some sort of grandstand but it is a bit frustrating,” Green said. “Ideally, I’d like to see the event on campus, but I don’t feel like the university appreciates our business.”
Brown expects this year’s competition to draw much more support than last year’s, and it will be televised.
“For the first year, we didn’t really know what to do, so we all got on the phone, talked to friends and friends of friends to try and find sponsors. Next year coming up is going to be so much bigger and more organized,” Brown said.
Echoing Green’s sentiments, Brown also said that the pageant is a good opportunity to show the community the positive impact the Greeks have in Boulder.
“I think that so much has happened in the past few years, that the focus has been drawn to the negative aspects of being in a sorority or a fraternity, when in actuality, there’s so many positive contributions that the Greeks make aside from those few mishaps that have given us a bad name,” Brown said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Cassie Hewlings at Cassie.Hewlings@thecampuspress.com.