Hellenic Student Association
The Hellenic Students Association of Virginia Tech (VTHSA) is one of the oldest international organizations of Virginia Tech. It aims to promote Greek culture at Virginia Tech and also serve as a meeting club for the Greek community of Blacksburg
The History of the Greeks of Blacksburg dates to 1924, with the opening of the first Greek Restaurant in Blacksburg, the Busy Bee known today as The Cellar. The Hellenic Student Association begun as a regular informal gathering of the Greek students at that restaurant. In 1970 the association for formalized as the Aegean Society of Blacksburg. The Aegean Society was renamed as the Hellenic Student Association in 1980 to conform with the name of other such student societies across North America.
The aims of the Association are to promote Greek culture in Blacksburg, mutually provide aid to its members, help connect people of Greek ancestry in Blacksburg and represent Virginia Tech at the Association of Hellenic Student Associations yearly meetings.
Membership is open to all people living in the Blacksburg area. Applicants are given associate membership status. Full membership is granted after a decision of the General Assembly of the Hellenic Student Association. Currently and for the last few years membership is at around 15 to 20 people, mostly graduate students born in Greece or Cyprus who study in the College of Engineering. There are though undergraduate members, members born and raised in the United States and members from other colleges. Historically membership peaked at around 30 students in the 1970's-early 1980's but due to increased tuition at Virginia Tech and easier access to graduate studies in Europe and Greece the number of member has dropped.
The Association has a board composed of 6 members (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and 2 PR officers). The general assembly meets at least once per semester.
Generally the events organized by the Hellenic Student Association can be grouped to open events for entire VT community and closed events for members and invitees
- Euronights: is the premier Euro dance event in Blacksburg. It is organized at a semi-regular basis, several times per semester at night venues in Blacksburg. Participants can expect a night of house, trance and other electronic dance music until the 2 o'clock limit imposed by the Commonwealth of Virginia alcohol laws.
- International Street Fair participation: The HSA always participates with a booth with posters of Greece and Greek food available for sale
- Lectures: From time to time the HSA sponsors lectures taking place at Virginia Tech
- Greek night at Roanoke: The HSA often co-sponsors the Greek night organized at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Roanoke in association with the Greek community of Roanoke
- St Basil's pie: This Greek quasi-religious ceremony commemorates the beginning of the calendar year and is held at a weekend near the beginning of the spring semester.
- Tsiknopempti: The last day of the Orthodox Church calendar, where meat consumption is allowed before the Great Lent, is always an opportunity for a big celebration in Greece and is thus commemorated in Blacksburg.
- March 25h: Greek Independence Day is observed by the members of the HSA.
- Easter Sunday: is celebrated every year with a big feast in Blacksburg.
- October 28th: The other National Holiday of Greece (entry to World War II) is also observed by the members of the HSA.
There are also several informal events throughout the year where the members of the HSA meet.