A poor economic climate and looming financial concerns have negatively impacted Greek-letter organizations’ philanthropy efforts, but students are optimistic that their upcoming fundraisers can still prove fruitful.
This weekend, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a community service sorority on campus, will hold the Battle of the Bands – their largest annual philanthropic event – which raises money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve definitely felt an impact from the financial situation. Businesses were less willing to donate this year,” said Emily Roseman, vice president of Epsilon Sigma Alpha. “We’ve definitely seen a difference from this year and last year.”
Despite the decline in corporate sponsorship, Roseman said she remains optimistic about the outcome of Saturday’s event.
“There’s something here that doesn’t change,” Roseman said. “I think people realize that this is something that’s necessary, that’s helping kids.”
Epsilon Sigma Alpha hopes to raise more than $5,000 with the upcoming event.
Many other Greek-letter organizations are experiencing similar responses to their philanthropic endeavors.
This week, Sigma Chi will host its annual Derby Days to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. The fraternity hopes to raise $5,000 through these events, though the organization has also experienced its own fundraising difficulties.
“There is no question that people are hurting during these economic times,” said Chris Cafero, president of Sigma Chi. “As a result, corporations, small businesses and private donors are not in a great position to contribute to charities.”
He added, “We have been very fortunate and are so grateful for the contributions that have been made thus far, regardless of the size.”
Chas Pressner, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said people still see the importance of giving to charity.
“I think people will dig deep in their pockets for these kinds of events,” Pressner said.
This article appeared in the March 26, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.