Greek life philanthropy

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Alex Demont, Columnist

Have you ever noticed one of the many fraternities or sororities on the quad trying to raise money for charities? The answer is probably yes unless you avoid the quad and don’t go to class.

The vast majority of these events involve with having their members being “pied” in the face, dunked in water or various tournaments with different team sports events.

It seems like it’s every other day that one of these events happens on the quad. The problem is that they are all the same! Year after year, the same fraternity or sorority does the same activity as they did last year.

My question is when is there going to be something different? To be clear, the events that fraternities and sororities have held in the past have been great. But, inevitably, things get stale. A fresh idea that has students clamouring to participate is sorely needed.

Some ideas for this could be an IWU strong man competition where students compete in various feats of strength or a campus-wide bacon day where strips of bacon are freshly cooked and sold for a dollar a piece.

To be fair, the current fundraisers have been successful. For example, IWU’s Kappa Delta raised over $3,000 at their Shamrock backyard barbeque, donating 80 percent to The Baby Fold, and 20 percent to Prevent Child Abuse America.

Our Greek life programs have had success with their events, and I think adding in new events would only help them.

The other problem with these events is that most of them rely on the donations of paper money. In a time where debit and credit cards rule the market in terms of making purchases, paper money is sparse among most students.

A solution to this could be a simple as registering for a magnetic-strip reader from businesses like Square Register™. This simple gadget plugs into both android and iPhones, lets people pay with debit or credit cards and charges only a 2.5 percent commission on all swipes. It is also available as an app on the Google Play store, which is convenient for a generation so in-tune with mobile gadgets.

Both Paypal and card providers themselves offer a plethora of other services that would make it easy for fraternities and sororities to adopt an electronic payment system, something many students would appreciate.

It isn’t easy to come up with new events when in years past they have been successful. I understand that. But, given the existing stereotypes about Greek life, I think it is more important than ever for fraternities and sororities to step up their game with their philanthropic endeavors.