Sorority uses ninja game to raise awareness of domestic violence

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The game “Ultimate Ninja” has conventionally been used in the past as a fun bonding exercise by Carnegie Mellon students. However, last Friday, it was used instead to raise awareness about domestic violence. Given the chance to be ninjas for a day, students across campus signed up and participated in a giant game of “Ultimate Ninja.”

Taking place in Donner Ditch, the game boasted around 30 players, all competing to be the last ninja standing. The grand prize was a $50 gift certificate to Chipotle. The competitive, fast-paced game lasted over two hours. The participants not only enjoyed an afternoon of fun, but also helped raise money and awareness against domestic violence.

Since October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the event “Ninjas Against Domestic Violence” started off the month on a high note, raising over $1,000. All the proceeds went directly to the Women’s Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, one of the first shelters built for battered women and children in the country. According to the website (, “each year more than 5,200 individuals — women, children, and some men — utilize our services for domestic violence victims.”

Ninjas Against Domestic Violence was organized through Carnegie Mellon’s sorority Alpha Chi Omega, as increasing awareness against domestic violence is one of its main goals.
Rosie Weisburgh, a senior mechanical engineering major and the vice president of fraternity relations for Alpha Chi Omega, created the event in hopes that by “being bold, and doing something unique, we would raise more interest.... My personal goal is to raise over $2,000 over the course of the month.” Along with help from Courtney Bruggeman, a senior mathematical sciences major and member of Alpha Chi Omega, the event grew quickly.

“While our main goal behind the event was to raise a lot of money for the Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter, we were really excited when people asked us more about the cause. As the kickoff event of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we really hope that people will remember this event and come to our others to help support the cause,” Weisburgh said.

“At first I thought Ninjas Against Domestic Violence was an unusual event, but a lot of people showed up and we all had a really fun time. The event was for a really good cause, and I’m so glad I participated in it,” said Colleen Treacy, a sophomore physics major.

In addition to Ninjas against Domestic Violence, the sorority sells luminary candles throughout October and has an annual Vera Bradley brand product sale in the spring to continually raise money for the Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter.

“If the event is successful, which I think it will be since the game of ‘Ultimate Ninja’ has become fairly popular on campus, I could definitely see it becoming a repeated philanthropy event,” said Sara Hoge, participant of the event and service chair for Alpha Chi Omega.

“Personally, I think this is a great cause, because domestic violence is a problem in America that hits home for a lot of people, and donating to the Pittsburgh Woman’s Shelter is a way to help right here in the local community,” Hoge said.