Western Courier

UGC steps up to the stage

Marc Ramirez, Assistant News Editor

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JOSH PURNELL/COURIER STAFF
Members of Western Illinois University's United Greek Council participate in an education demonstrating the intricacies of UGC organizations, including strolling, stepping and saluting.

The United Greek Council (UGC) at Western Illinois University extended invitations to all Interfraternal Council fraternities and Panhellenic Council sororities to educate them on the different cultural aspects associated with being in UGC Greek Life.

Margarita Sotelo, President of UGC, opened up Wednesday evenings meeting with a brief, “Meet the Greek” presentation introducing the different fraternities and sororities found within UGC.

Sotelo then explained what makes these Greek organizations different from others on campus.

“The United Greek Council serves as the governing body for all cultural interest fraternities and sororities at Western Illinois,” Sotelo said. The UGC includes member chapters from the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the historically African-American organizations and along with the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) for Multicultural and Latino/Latina fraternities and sororities here at WIU.”

Four of the 10 of these organizations fall under the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the remaining six are apart of the Multicultural Greek Council.

Vice President Ventura Melchor of the United Greek Council explains that just like other Greek organizations, fraternities and sororities in the UGC do similar events to better the community and get their name out to the public.

“So just like every other Greek organization, we all have a week throughout the semester to put on a community service event,” Melchor said. “We all have streets so usually we’ll do a street clean or have a volunteer event at Genesis Garden and help out there.”

“We also participate in the activities fair, which is a campus event that happens once every semester, and we really use this to our advantage to help recruit new members to our individual organizations and our council as a whole,” said Secretary Jacquilyn Frausto.

However, some differences are known, and were explained by the council executive board members. Stepping and strolling for example, which are traditions in which African-American and Multicultural institutions take part.

“Both stepping and strolling were introduced by Black Greek lettered organizations in the mid-twentieth century, and since then have been adapted by other organizations such as Multicultural Greeks,” Sotelo said. “These are both often performed in a circle to represent unity and strength.”

The act of stepping and strolling is when members of the Greek organization complete complex rhythmic motions, footwork and sayings in a line. It is a tradition used by the various Greek lettered fraternities and sororities used to show pride and unity amongst its members.

Lambda Theta Phi and Lambda Theta Alpha have slightly different traditions, as they are the only Greek Life organizations on campus to salute. Saluting is an act similar to stepping and strolling.

“It’s considered poetry in motion, it’s a form of art that represents the struggles that we’ve went through and the obstacles we’ve faced as a minority,” said a member of Lambda Theta Phi fraternity.

Each United Greek Council fraternity and sorority then proceeded to demonstrate their different steps, strolls, and salutes.

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UGC steps up to the stage