Greek events raise money for good causes
Human pyramids, flag football teams, and enthusiastic students tabling could be spotted all around the Carnegie Mellon campus last week as the Greek community and the entire campus came together to promote philanthropy. With several events, including Greek Week, CMU Donut Dash, Mr. Fraternity, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Battle of the Bands, students were able to support each other while raising money for numerous good causes.
Sorority and fraternity members could be seen around campus competing in Greek Week activities such as dodgeball, tug-of-war, flag football, and several other games and events. Participants poured their enthusiasm and house pride into this week, and although the events were intended to raise money for charity, there was no lack of friendly competition.
The beginning of Greek Week 2010 also marked the beginning of Penny Wars, a philanthropic event co-sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta. Students were encouraged to deposit pennies into jars representing Greek houses to give points to each house. They could also deposit nickels, dimes, and quarters into the jars to subtract points. Proceeds collected from Penny Wars were donated by Kappa Alpha Theta to the Gordie Foundation for Hazing Prevention Week.
Kappa Alpha Theta also hosted their annual Mr. Fraternity competition in Rangos Hall last Friday evening. Brothers from each house came together in a show of wit, class, and talent to compete for the title of Mr. Fraternity 2010. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Matthew Peteroy, a junior history major, won the title thanks to his incredible rendition of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” but every competitor helped make the show unendingly entertaining.
All proceeds from the Mr. Fraternity competition were donated to the Central Ohio Breathing Association in honor of Karin Johnson, a sister of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta who passed away after an acute asthma attack.
On Wednesday, the members of Delta Tau Delta and other participants played kickball for the Boys and Girls Club of America. Sigma Phi Epsilon also hosted a YouthAIDS/AIDS Awareness Week, featuring a speaker and a documentary showing, and concluding with Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Battle of the Bands.
Sigma Phi Epsilon’s fourth annual Battle of the Bands, the final event of YouthAIDS/AIDS Awareness Week, brought together some of Carnegie Mellon’s established student bands as well as some new faces to play together on Saturday night. Sigma Phi Epsilon alumnus Tim Ruff (CFA ’10) returned to campus to emcee the event. All proceeds were given to the YouthAIDS foundation, a HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness campaign of Population Services International targeting young people aged 15–24 that began in 2001.
The competition itself was a tough one. With established Carnegie Mellon bands like the Glass Cube and Monsters! competing, it was surprising when newcomers Julia McGinely, a four-person band composed of all first-years, took the title. The group, however, certainly deserved the win.
The group formed during Orientation 2010 when Wyatt D’Emilia, a first-year in H&SS; Lukas Ronner, a first-year in MCS; Kai Roberts, a first-year in CIT; and Tanuj Apte, a first-year in MCS, came together to perform at the Orientation talent show.
“For us, being freshmen and coming from high school where the interest in music and performance was pretty limited, and coming to Carnegie Mellon to compete against incredible performers … it was shocking to win,” Ronner said. “We were floored by the talent of our competitors. We weren’t expecting to win.”
The group, formed just two weeks before the talent show, was not given much time to prepare. “At first Lukas and I were just going to play solo,” D’Emilia said. “We went to high school together, so we were used to playing together. Then Kai and Tanuj, who both live in our dorm, came to us because they heard the noise and wanted to play with us. That’s how it all started.”
What set this group apart from the other competitors were its rather complicated but extremely well-practiced vocal harmonies. “Complex vocal harmonies are our favorite,” D’Emilia said. “For this show we tried to get as much practice as we could into two weeks. We had to write songs and master them, so we were really pressed for time.”
While the group won a $200 gift card to Guitar Center and the opportunity to open up for the homecoming concert performers, the “real prize,” as Ronner put it, was “being able to help raise money for a fantastic cause.”
Also on Saturday night was Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s CMU Donut Dash. The Donut Dash is an annual fundraiser held by the Pennsylvania Phi Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Carnegie Mellon to support the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In this event, participants must run a mile to a donut distribution site, where they must consume an entire box of donuts before continuing another mile to the finish line. Runners were greeted with live music and refreshments at the finish line, and prizes were awarded to the top finishers.
Although it was a week packed with fun, it was also a week of intense philanthropy.