MGC celebrates 10th anniversary

Lauren Caruba

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Northwestern’s Multicultural Greek Council celebrated its 10-year anniversary Thursday evening with a banquet for current members, alumni and representatives from other NU organizations.

The banquet, held in the Cohen Commons of the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Rd., started at 6 p.m. and drew about 90 people. Along with MGC members and alumni, representatives from Associated Student Government, Multicultural Student Affairs, GreekBuild and the other NU Greek councils attended the event.

Hazim Ahmad, current president of the MGC and member of Omega Delta Phi, said the 10-year anniversary is an important milestone for the organization, which includes five Greek chapters.

“We want to show the work we’ve done has been strong the last 10 years,” said Ahmad, a McCormick senior. “We’re establishing ourselves a lot more, people are more aware of us now.”

The MGC originally consisted of three chapters and has grown over the past decade to five historically Latino and Asian fraternities and sororities. Currently the organization is comprised of the Asian-interest sororities Sigma Psi Zeta and Kappa Phi Lambda, the Latina-based sororities Sigma Lambda Gamma and Lambda Theta Alpha and the multicultural fraternity ODPhi.

“The organizations have come a long way,” said Margaret Heffernan, assistant director at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “Looking over all of the stuff they’ve done over the past 10 years is pretty cool.”

Since its formation, the MGC has fostered a number of traditions at NU. In 2003 the MGC hosted its first annual BBQ on the Lakefill, an event co-sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Every year the group also organizes MGC Week, a winter banquet and the Yard Show, which is the council’s beginning-of-the-year showcase of its chapters to potential new members.

Zachary Kisfalusi, vice president of administration for the MGC, said some of his best memories at NU are from attending MGC events. He said the organization creates a community among the chapters and gives them a voice in meetings with the three other NU Greek councils.

“The MGC, being the newest Greek council on the campus, provides a unifying aspect to the diverse organizations within it,” said Kisfalusi, a member of ODPhi. “It’s wide in range of the type of people that are in it.”

The MGC has recently received national recognition for its involvement at NU by the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values. After winning two awards from the association in 2009 and three in 2010, the MGC won six this year, which is the maximum number of awards an individual council can win.

The growth of the MGC over the past decade led the University to give the group higher priority at the administrative level. In 2008, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life hired an additional staff member to be a full-time advisor for the MGC and the NPHC, Heffernan said.

“It’s continuing to grow, both from within, with new constitutional changes, to new organizations joining,” Kisfalusi said.

Members of the MGC said the group’s presence on campus helps to highlight different cultures.

“MGC was a large part of my undergraduate career here,” said alumnus and former MGC president Clyde Guilamo (WCAS ‘08). “(MGC) shows that there is a commitment to diversity at the school.”

Incoming MGC president Isabella Pasbakhsh, a member of SLG,, said the 10-year anniversary demonstrates the MGC’s increasing presence at NU. She said her primary goal for Spring Quarter will be to continue raising awareness about the five MGC chapters.

“We need to work on collaborating with other organizations on campus and get our name out there by attending other events,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “It’s definitely a great opportunity now that we’ve established ourselves.”