Philanthropy: Pillar of SLU Greek Life

Photo+Courtesy+of+Zeta+Tau+Alpha%0D%0AZeta+Tau+Alpha+hosted+a+pie-throwing+fundraiser+as+a+part+of+their+philanthropy+efforts.
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Philanthropy: Pillar of SLU Greek Life

Photo Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a pie-throwing fundraiser as a part of their philanthropy efforts.

Photo Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a pie-throwing fundraiser as a part of their philanthropy efforts.

Photo Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a pie-throwing fundraiser as a part of their philanthropy efforts.

Photo Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a pie-throwing fundraiser as a part of their philanthropy efforts.

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Students host events to raise money for charities

Photo Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a pie-throwing fundraiser as a part of their philanthropy efforts.

Each of the 15 fraternities and sororities on campus are founded on certain pillars, certain guiding principles that inspire their day-to-day activities.  While many make reference to personal growth, academic achievement and the cultivation of friendship, every Greek organization on Saint Louis University’s campus includes a commitment to community service.
Sororities and fraternities each sponsor a philanthropy – a charitable organization for which chapter members raise money throughout the year.  Philanthropies supported by SLU chapters include national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, supported by Sigma Tau Gamma; Ronald McDonald House, supported by Alpha Delta Pi; or The American Red Cross, supported by Delta Sigma Phi. Most philanthropies correspond with their national sorority or fraternity initiatives.
Mike Parker, president of SLU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, said philanthropy is about more than just raising money.
“It’s something that brings us together as a fraternity,” Parker said. “It connects us to the history of our national organization.”
SAE’s support of Children’s Miracle Network culminates in Paddy Murphy Week, a week-long philanthropy initiative. SAE chapters nationwide host Paddy Murphy Weeks, named after a famous member of SAE in the early 1900s.
Similarly, Phi Delta Theta connects their philanthropy initiatives with their fraternity history.  The Phi Delts raise money for the ALS Association, which increases awareness and research for ALS, commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Lou Gehrig was a Phi Delt at Columbia University.
One of the larger philanthropy events held annually at SLU is Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash.  The sorority hosts the weeklong series of events during the spring each year.
Delta Gamma Philanthropy Chair Victoria Glatz said it is a great way to raise money, spread awareness and have fun while doing it.
“It’s a really active, really fun week, and it allows the rest of the University to see that we are proud of our organization, and we really want to help others in our surrounding community,” Glatz said.
The money raised from Anchor Splash goes to Service for Sight, a national organization that helps children and families with visual impairments.
Glatz said Delta Gamma’s commitment to philanthropy goes far beyond  Anchor Splash.  St. Louis is home to the Delta Gamma Center for Visual Impairment, one of five such sites in the country. Members of the SLU chapter volunteer at the site and hold events to raise funds and awareness for their cause.
Last month, when the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha held their philanthropy week, Chapter President Grace LaRosa said they particularly focused on engaging the broader campus community.
“We really wanted to open it up to all of campus and get the whole university involved, not just other Greek organizations,” LaRosa said.
The Zetas set up tables in the quad, handed out pink ribbons and even gave out goldfish.  The initiative supported the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation, which raises money for breast cancer awareness and education.
“The important thing to remember is that it’s not just about raising money,” LaRosa said.  “It’s about raising awareness, too, and about educating people on the signs of breast cancer and what they can do to fight it.”
Program Coordinator for Greek Life Kristin Clemens said this is one of the most important parts of philanthropy here at SLU.
“It is not always about the dollar amount they raise, but also about the impact they make, the hands-on volunteer hours they put in and the connection they have to the cause,” Clemens said.
Greek students at SLU contributed over 1,000 hours of service last year through their fraternities and sororities, in addition to the tens-of-thousands of dollars raised for charitable causes. This year, chapters are on pace to increase those numbers to reaffirm their commitment to their founding values.