Ceremony honors U greek chapters

Sigma Nu and Alpha Omicron Pi won outstanding chapters of the year.

by Neil Munshi

Members of the greek community came out dressed their best to honor outstanding fraternity and sorority members and chapters Monday in Willey Hall.

Sigma Nu fraternity and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority each won several awards and were considered the night’s big winners as the outstanding greek chapter of the year on the men’s and women’s sides, respectively.

The hourlong Greek Awards kept at a healthy pace, thanks to an 8:21 p.m. tip-off time for the NCAA Finals men’s basketball game.

More than 1,000 men dressed in shirts and ties and women in evening garb attended the event, said Abby Weinandt, Panhellenic Council president.

“Greek Awards basically is a chance for the chapters to put on paper some of their major accomplishments throughout the past year,” Weinandt said.

“We spend a lot of time doing a lot of things – educating our members, doing philanthropy and community service, and working on our academics. So it’s kind of a chance to let the chapters who really excelled in certain areas stand out.”

Weinandt was named outstanding greek woman of the year, one of the night’s top awards, for her work as Panhellenic Council president on behalf of Alpha Gamma Rho sorority and the greek community as a whole. Kit Meyers, a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member, was recognized as outstanding greek man of the year.

When accepting her award, Weinandt said she encouraged young members to “find something (they) love to do” and work toward achieving their goals.

Kat Baugher, Panhellenic Council executive vice president, said individual fraternities and sororities submitted nominees’ names for 10 chapter awards, four individual recognition awards and two alumni awards.

Baugher was a runner-up for outstanding greek woman of the year.

Nominees were judged by a panel of greek alumni and chosen to give a relatively equal representation of the 34 fraternities and sororities in the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, Baugher said.

Paul DeBettignies, Minnesota Greek Alumni Partnership secretary, said he wasn’t sure how long the awards have been around but that they existed for several years before his 1990 entry into the greek community.

“It’s rewarding those in the community who have been doing positive things, whether it’s academics, or philanthropy, or leadership activities,” he said.

“It’s a way of reaffirming to ourselves why we’re here. It’s also a public place where we can recognize our friends at the University and surrounding community (and) a way to set the bar a little higher for the groups for the next year.”