Campus fraternities, sororities give money, time to philanthropies

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Students enjoy spaghetti dinner hosted by Sigma Kappa sorority, the dinner was in September to raise money for their sister’s hospital bill.

Amber Petkosek and Amber Petkosek

While walking around campus Greek letters can be seen everywhere, but some students do not realize what the members of the Greek community do.

As well as raising money for their philanthropies, they also give their time to different organizations to help.

Each chapter in the Greek community has a philanthropy they raise funds for and give their services to.

“It’s not based on the council that each chapter is within,” said Holly Grunn, coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life. “It is based on their national organization and what their national organization has chosen to support.”

As well as each chapter having their own philanthropy chosen by their national chapter, the University Panhellenic council has also adopted a philanthropy as a council.

The philanthropy is called The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.

“The organization was actually founded by a sorority woman,” Grunn said. “It is really there to help raise fund and raise awareness about women and girls worldwide and removing barriers to their education.”

Grunn said the other councils may be looking for the opportunity to adopt a philanthropy for their councils in the future.

Dan Phillips, the president of Interfraternity Council, said there is a wide array of philanthropies that Greek life raises money for.

Jeffery Hardin, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, said the philanthropies that NPHC works with are similar to those of other chapters.

“Ours are geared towards the same issues and problems going on in the country, but they attract a different crowd,” he said.

NPHC is geared towards African-Americans and Hardin said the council generally attracts that population on campus.

Hardin said because NPHC was founded on the basis of service, it likes to continue on with doing service and plan to in the future.

Kappa Delta sponsors Prevent Child Abuse America, Tau Kappa Epsilon sponsors St. Jude’s, Delta Chi sponsors the Jimmy V Foundation, which helps with cancer research to name several.

Phillips said Greek life raising money and working with philanthropies helps the members of the Greek community as well as the charity.

“As college students we see that we need to be able to give back, whether that’s locally or nationally, we give our time, efforts and money to better people that are not as fortunate as we are and I think it gives a lot of people a purpose,” he said.

Jeff Kegolis, assistant dean of students, said the work the Greek community does for different philanthropies does not stop once a member graduates.

“There is an idea of a life long commitment,” he said. “It’s not just part of the undergraduate experience. It’s part of a life long experience.”

Kegolis said the way the services are done by the Greek community benefit people in many different ways.

Casey Swick, the president of Panhellenic council, said people choose to stay involved with their chapter’s philanthropy because they have a passion for the cause when they join, or they develop passion for a cause after joining.

One of the members of Kappa Delta, whose philanthropy is Prevent Child Abuse America, has become a social worker in Toledo and part of the reason she became interested was because of the philanthropy, Swick said.

As a part of the Panhellenic Council’s philanthropy, Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, it wants to have $500 to give to the founder when she visits the University in November.

Swick said each chapter has an indivudal goal for the amount of money it plans to raise for its philanthropy.

“I’ve seen groups make impacts on the community through clean up initiatives, through habitat for humanity initiatives. Some individuals have chosen to try and cultivate other students in terms of leadership and in terms of service,” she said.

Andrew Slota, the vice president of scholarships and civic engagement for Multicultural Greek Council, said this year, the time they donate for service has a theme.

Due to one of their members struggling with cancer, they have chosen to help with cancer research.

“We are going to St. Judes and partaking in the cancer walk,” he said.

Kegolis said students in Greek life often become successful individuals on campus.

“A number of people say through their membership, they find a family or they find a brother/sister connection and through that connection it has led to their success as a student,” he said.