During the fourth annual Pink Week, Zeta Tau Alpha helped raise money for breast cancer awareness.
The feat of supporting such a cause is seen throughout Greek life and the way that each fraternity and sorority conducts their individual chapters.
“For Greek life as a whole, each one of us has a different philanthropy,” Hannah Withers, president of Zeta Tau Alpha, said. “That’s ultimately why we exist. We raise money for our specific philanthropy, as we have a local one and a national one. I know with each one of us, it touches our hearts.”
The Zeta Tau Alpha foundation funds breast cancer awareness and the philanthropy has an effect on not only cancer patients, but the sorority as well.
“For our chapter alone, it’s a big deal when we actually get to see the women that we help out on a daily basis,” Withers said.
Phi Delta Theta’s national philanthropy is the ALS Association, which helps with research on Lou Gehrig’s disease. Andrew Santos, a member of Phi Delta Theta, stresses the importance of giving back.
“It is one of the principles that our fraternity was founded on,” Santos said. “Plus, giving back to the community is one of the best things an organization can do.”
However, there is a common misconception about fraternities, and philanthropy helps to remove these misconceptions.
“Most people think fraternities are all about partying and getting drunk, but we’re not at all. Philanthropy in the community helps people know that we are here to become better men,” Santos said.
“Last year we held Chili Fest in the spring, which raised over $11,000 for the ALS Association. This year we’re aiming to break $20,000,” Santos said.
A member of Zeta Tau Alpha said her sorority works hard to both help the community and improve the image of Greek life.
“I think philanthropy ups our image. A lot of people think that we just like to party, and it’s way much more than that,” Emily Gross, Zeta Tau Alpha historian for the Delta Eta chapter, said. “We contribute thousands of dollars to our philanthropy and work very hard to get the campus involved.”
However the important part of philanthropy is making a difference, and making students aware of an issue. One member of Greek life sees students becoming more involved through their efforts.
“When people see college students, they often think that they are not going to help in any way but it’s kind of interesting to see how much they will donate to something like that,” Ashlee Adams, vice president over programming in Zeta Tau Alpha, said.