Though the Multicultural Greek Council and the Interfraternity Council fall under the same umbrella of Greek Life on campus, collaborative efforts and projects haven’t been a major priority — until recently.
LSA senior Alejandro Moreno-Koehler, outgoing president of MGC, wrote in an e-mail interview that co-sponsoring events is “theoretically easy” since the two active executive boards would be involved, but past difficulty in implementing collaborative events suggests otherwise.
“The reason this answer is not simple is because many individuals on both sides really do not know much about each other,” Moreno-Koehler wrote. “Due to this lack of information on both sides, implementing and sponsoring events with IFC has been difficult.”
Moreno-Koehler added that another issue with co-sponsorship is the disparity in the size of the two councils. MGC has fewer available members to commit to events than IFC.
He wrote that, on average, an MGC chapter ranges from 5 to 15 active members with the largest organization — Omega Gamma Pi — having 36 members.
Engineering junior Michael Friedman, president of IFC, wrote in an e-mail interview that IFC chapters average about 63 active members. The largest IFC organization — Alpha Epsilon Pi — has roughly 150 members.
Moreno-Koehler wrote that holding events boils down to a “numbers game” but shouldn’t prevent both organizations from working together.
“Past and current e-board members from IFC and MGC have started to work together to create relationships and educate each other so that functions can and will happen in the future with little logistical problems,” he wrote.
But Moreno-Koehler wrote that members of both councils now have definite plans to have more joint events in the near future.
“Since a huge part of being in Greek life is community service/philanthropic activities,” Moreno-Koehler wrote. “New members and e-board members from both councils feel that participating in a day of community service involving the Greek Community would allow us to help out and build future networks between individuals on each council.”
Scheduled for the upcoming fall, Greek Community Service Day will be a collaborative effort between all four Greek groups — IFC, MGC, Panhellenic Association and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Moreno-Koehler added that events like the community service day allow Greek life organizations to work together to “showcase the positive impact” the Greek community has on the University.
Friedman echoed Moreno-Koehler’s sentiments, writing that the difficulty with both organizations is not their ability to co-sponsor events but rather that a large number of opportunities for “collaborative programming” are overlooked.
He added that the chapters in each council work on independent levels with a different set of rules and regulations issued by the two disparate governing bodies.
“This is a significant barrier that prevents collaborative social events between chapters in different councils,” he wrote. “If an individual chapter feels they’ll benefit in terms of manpower and resources by partnering with another organization, they’ll often reach out to a fraternity within their council.”
Past event collaborations between the IFC and MGC include Greek Week, Greek Awards Night, Taste of Michigan, the Greek Life t-shirt and the flyer mailed to incoming first-year students over the summer.
Events like these, Friedman wrote, are part of a recent trend as previous council members have shied away from joint projects in the past few years.
“There’s been no grassroots pull for such initiatives,” he wrote. “Neither the members nor the leaders of these councils have made this type of collaboration a priority.”