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Preview: Comedian opens for Greek Week bonfire

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Comedian Evan Wecksell does not think he would have been a comedian if he had not been in a fraternity.

He was a member of the national chapter Theta Chi, and after college he started to do stand-up comedy.

“It was fun becoming an open mic comedian, but the decision to make this a career came at a temp job doing nothing the entire day, and I thought, ‘Screw this,’” said Wecksell. “‘I’m going to look up every Theta Chi chapter in the country and bug the hell out of them to see who wants to have me for an event.’’

Wecksell has now done a recruitment event at MIT, a semi-formal in Colorado and will kick-off Greek Week on April 27 with a bonfire at 6 p.m. in the Lower Quad.

Starting off just doing shows for Theta Chi, Wecksell has now expanded his routine to help show all Greek students how they can use their associations to their benefit during and after college.

“Greek Life is not just a four-year thing you do on the side,” said Wecksell. “It’s an affiliation you get to carry with you as a privilege, and hopefully (audience members will) think ‘yeah, this guy is funny and he’s communicating how Greek Life made a big change in his life, so maybe I can use it my advantage.’”

He describes his comedy as universal, only taking off his guitar when he light-heartedly discusses Greek Life.

“It’s not a hardcore anti-hazing or anti-alcohol lecture, it’s about how can you guys do better and how can you guys strengthen you guys individually and as a collective,” said Wecksell.

Arsal Shareef, Greek Week chair, said that this is the first time Greek Week has had a performer, and he hopes the event will attract more people to the events of the week.

“Evan is a performer and a comedian about Greek Life, and it allows us to take a step back and look at not only the funny things about Greek Life, but also why we joined it in the first place,” said Shareef.

Shareef said he would like to create a set of events that happen annually, such as yell and sing during homecoming.

“My goal was to build a new tradition that would happen for years after I left Augustana,” said Shareef. “We have always have a lot of people attracted to Homecoming week, and that’s the same thing I wanted to do for Greek Week, because it would be awesome to see the same kind of passion we had during Homecoming week.”

Wecksell believes that a lot of the negative stereotypes surrounding Greek Life stem from the idea that the media and society have trained people to look for chaos and confusion.

“If a guy dies from an alcohol overdose and happens to be Greek, it just fuels that stereotype,” said Wecksell. “The mass media is quick to foster stereotypes in any group, whether it’s Greek, religious, sexual orientation and others.”

He says that it is up to people to avoid those stereotypes.

“We have the opportunity to create a positive stereotype about Greek Life and not be so caught up in the negativity, like the ‘Animal House’ stereotypes, which are hilarious,” said Wecksell. “The movie itself and stuff like that is funny, but to only associate that with Greek Life is a little too Hollywood for me.”

The bonfire will be the first event in a week of opportunities to score points to win the Greek Week cup.

Chapters will earn points based off the percentage in attendance.

First, second and third place will receive 50, 25 and 10 points, respectively.

Ryan Silvola

Ryan Silvola

Co-Editor-in-Chief at Augustana Observer
Ryan has served on the Augustana Observer for the past four years and is currently serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief with Shylee Garett for his second year. He is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication and Women's and Gender Studies.
Ryan Silvola
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