Sororities and fraternities at Hopkins host charity events and fundraisers

By CLAIRE GOUDREAU | October 3, 2019

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COURTESY OF LAUREN PAULET Sorority Pi Beta Phi hosted Phi Field Day on the Beach last Saturday.

Several Hopkins sororities and fraternities have started holding this semester’s philanthropy events to raise money and improve student well-being. These events are held to benefit a wide variety of charities and are open to the entire student body.

Alpha Phi - APhi Fest

Last Saturday, Alpha Phi sorority held their third annual APhi Fest to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation. The Foundation supports research and educational efforts surrounding women’s heart health and gives scholarships to current Alpha Phi members as well as alumnae.

The event, a DJ competition, brought in nearly $2,000 and sold over 300 tickets. All competitors were undergraduates involved in Greek life at Hopkins, although registration was open to anyone. The attendees voted for their favorite DJ.

Alpha Phi Vice President of Community Relations Kinsey Tyler, a junior, organized this year’s APhi Fest and said the event was fairly successful, in large part thanks to the nature of the DJ competition.

“People like that it’s like a normal party, like a music festival but on a really small scale. It doesn’t feel like they have to go to this ‘philanthropy event,’” she said. “We can get a lot more people to come when they’re events that people might go to anyways.”

Chapter President Ally Hardebeck, a senior, said that beyond providing the sisters a chance to bond as a group, philanthropy events were central to giving the sorority its identity.

“Alpha Phi’s high ideals are sisterhood, innovation, generosity and character. Philanthropy allows us to live out these ideals in a concrete way,” she said. “Fraternity and sorority life can carry negative connotations, but I can’t stress enough that these organizations give students so many opportunities to make an impact on a variety of worthy causes.”

Alpha Phi plans to hold their second fundraiser, a brunch open to parents and alumni, later this month.

Pi Beta Phi - Pi Phi Field Day and Pi Phi x Puppies

The sorority Pi Beta Phi held two philanthropy events last week.

The first, held on Friday afternoon, was called Pi Phi x Puppies. The nonprofit organization Pets on Wheels brought several emotional support dogs to the Glass Pavilion for students to pet. The activity was designed to help students destress during midterms.

Although donations were not required to pet the dogs, students could donate to the Pi Beta Phi Foundation, which works to help improve child literacy rates across America.

Between petting dogs, students could also write encouraging messages in books that the sorority will donate to the students of Margaret Brent Elementary School. Pi Phi sisters visit Margaret Brent every week to help second- and third-graders learn how to read and write. Only about 13 percent of students at Margaret Brent met expectations for their grade level in English Language Arts.

Later this year, Pi Phi plans to use a grant to donate 500 new books to Margaret Brent, which currently does not have a functioning library.

Event Coordinator Lauren Paulet, a junior, said that Pi Phi sees literacy as the key to accessing higher education.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that we attend this prestigious educational institution, and less than a mile away there are kids who don’t know how to read,” she said. “If you’re not literate, you can’t even dream of going to a place like Hopkins.”

Then on Saturday, Pi Phi hosted Pi Phi Field Day, a fundraiser on the Beach, in order to raise more money for the Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

Field Day attendees could play a variety of games for the chance to win a $100 gift card. Nearly $1,500 was raised through ticket sales and donations.

Paulet said that although she was happy with the event, the turnout could have been better.

“I think that if students at Hopkins valued their mental health more, we’d see plenty more people on this field right now playing,” she said. “That indicates a larger issue that the Hopkins community really faces. People are just too afraid to put other things before their academics. There are plenty of people in [Milton S. Eisenhower Library] and Brody studying but not many people out here just taking a break.”

With a low event budget, the field day relied on other campus organizations, clubs and departments to donate equipment.

Pi Phi sister Neha Bharadwaj, a sophomore, views efforts like these as the reason she thinks the sorority is such a great organization.

“One of the reasons that I actually chose Pi Phi is because during recruitment they showed all the girls how important their philanthropy is. It’s probably one of the most prominent parts of the sorority, which is what drew me to them,” she said.

Beta Theta Pi - Cornhole Tournament

Next weekend, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity will be holding their first-ever Cornhole Tournament to raise money for the Beacon Tree Foundation. They have set the entry cost at $10 per team.

Over $160 will be available in prizes from local businesses for participants in the cornhole tournament. The event will be held on the Freshman Quad.

Junior Eddie Taufer, the Beta Theta Pi public relations chair, chose the Beacon Tree Foundation as this year’s beneficiary.

Beacon Tree is a nonprofit that focuses on providing families and children with access to mental health care.

Taufer told The News-Letter that as someone who has dealt with mental health issues himself, he wanted to pick a charity that would make a difference in that area.

“At a school like Johns Hopkins, a lot of students struggle with mental health,” he said. “We wanted to pick an organization that wasn’t just policy-focused but that actually had an impact in the communities that they worked with.”

Cornhole, Taufer said, seemed like the obvious choice for their event.

“Ever since I got into the fraternity, cornhole has really been Beta’s thing. We have a bunch of boards that have our logos on it, so I thought this was a good chance to bring those out, spruce them up and get our name out to the Johns Hopkins Community,” he said.

aKDPhi - Breastival

The Hopkins chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi (aKDPhi) will be holding its seventh annual Breastival in the Mattin Courtyard this Saturday. The event aims to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

All of Breastival’s proceeds will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

Breastival is the kickoff event for aKDPhi’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. They will hold several additional events over the course of October, such as a Breast Cancer Awareness Night and “Letters of Hope,” where students will be encouraged to write uplifting letters to women currently fighting breast cancer. 

There will be free food and games for attendees, with the chance to win a giant Shiba Inu plushie. Donations will be accepted throughout the event.

According to aKDPhi Co-Vice President Service Chair and Breastival Coordinator Sophia Xu, breast cancer awareness and research is a major priority for all 50 aKDPhi chapters. Last year they raised $97,202 for the cause.

“Philanthropy has been one of our most important missions since we were founded. Our members dedicate their time to many other volunteer activities in various areas,” she said.

Sarah Y. Kim is a member of aKDPhi. She was not involved in the editing of this article.

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