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Sororities fight stereotypes, raise money for charities

Some members of Ohio State’s Panhellenic Association hope to combat stereotypes as they raise money for their selected charities throughout the year.

PHA is a student-run governing body of 16 sorority chapters with about 1,500 women at OSU. Throughout the year, each sorority raises money for a local charity that supports a cause chosen by their national chapters by holding events for students, alumni, family or the community to participate and donate money.

Last year, PHA raised more than $90,000 for their respective charities, said Stacy Duh, a third-year in pharmaceutical sciences and director of philanthropy for PHA. This year, the group raised $87,000 in Autumn and Winter Quarter alone. With Spring Quarter still in session, the exact amounts for the quarter have not been counted, but are estimated at about $42,150.

Along with the other OSU councils, like Inter-Fraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, PHA helped raise $11,000 during Greek Week, which was April 29 though May 4. The money raised will be donated to build a playground at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Journey Academy in Columbus, said Kelly Finzer, director of community service and philanthropy for Greek Week.

Duh said each chapter member in a sorority pays dues at the beginning of every quarter for the philanthropy budget.

“One hundred percent of the money and donations we receive goes toward the charities. Chapters have a budget of a certain amount, and all of the money we raise goes right to the philanthropy,” Duh said.

The chapter’s own dues, service and time are also put into the events.

“We’re not a huge percentage of students (at OSU), and I know there’s a lot of stereotypes with us,” Duh said. “I just wish people could see how much we do for philanthropy events and how important it is for us. All 16 chapters have at least one event, and while it’s more simple to do service, this is a great way to get more people involved in what we’re passionate about.”

The chapters put on a wide range of events from banquet dinners to selling a variety of late-night snack foods such as hotdogs, s’mores and pancakes. Most events require the students to pay a small amount of money, but that adds up quickly, Duh said.

“Especially when they’re fun events, like flag football, a 5K or dodgeball, students usually have a great time being a part of them,” Duh said. “It’s fun to get students involved in something that’s important to us,” Duh said.

Aliza Bruchs, a second-year in marketing and philanthropy chair for Delta Delta Delta, said she enjoys watching the students stop by the late-night events held on weekends.

“People seem to love it. They always come out because it’s not built into their schedule and they can come with their friends,” Bruchs said. “We get a lot of people who don’t really expect it while they’re walking down High St. and they say, ‘Oh my gosh! Tacos!'”

The women of the sorority, Chi Omega, held a tailgate at the Ohio Union during football season and raised almost $17,000 for their charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation for a young boy named Andrew.

“We were able to meet Andrew and help him achieve his goal. He wanted to meet a famous tennis player, and we were the ones who helped him do that,” said Katie Schings, a second-year in nursing and philanthropy chair for Chi Omega.

The event included watching the away football game on a big screen and a silent auction for the parents, family members and friends.

“We really take pride in how much money we raise,” Schings said. “It’s a shame most people overlook this really great thing because we do work hard to benefit our charity.”


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