Shannon Haskins

Two Greek organizations at Miami University have pooled their resources and create an event that will raise money for the people in the African country of Sudan.

Kappa Alpha Theta sorority (Theta) and Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity will sponsor a charity dodgeball tournament and concert April 21 to benefit the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and its efforts to help the victims and refugees of Darfur.

The tournament will be played on Central quad from 12 to 6 p.m.

After the game, the band FatKid Dodgeball, the official band of the National Dodgeball League, will be performing from 10 to 11:30 p.m. at Brick Street Bar.

According to Matt Meyers, a sophomore communications pre-major and one of the main event organizers, usually Theta and SigEp conduct independent philanthropies based on the charities that their respective national sorority and fraternity sponsor. But this year, they decided to work together to help a more pressing cause – that of the political unrest and genocide occurring in Darfur.

The idea was suggested by journalism major and member of SigEp, Bobby Pierce, after he heard journalist Nick Clooney speak about Darfur Jan. 30 during the lecture at Miami. At the reception following the event, Pierce discussed Darfur with Clooney, and brought the idea for co-philanthropy back to his fraternity.

Meyers said SigEp thought it was a great idea.

“(We thought we) owed it to (Clooney) and the cause to make people more aware of what is occurring right now in Darfur,” Meyers said.

According to Meyers, Theta got involved because SigEp wanted to do more joint philanthropy events and he already had contacts within the sorority.

“We wanted to do more things with (Theta) and I talked to a couple of the girls I knew (in the sorority),” Meyers said. “We (then) had a philanthropy meeting and their philanthropy people were there and they were excited about it and it just grew from there.”

Brittany Lipinsky, Theta’s philanthropy co-chair, said everyone involved with the tournament and concert is eager to see it all come together.

“When we were initially trying to think of places to donate the money, we thought of the (IRC) because it was a really good cause,” Lipinsky said. “We’ve opened the event up to the entire campus because we hope to get the whole student body involved and not just segregate the Greek community.”

According to Meyers, the idea had originally been to have an annual concert to support Darfur, but the fraternity wanted an activity that could involve everyone on campus as well as a performance that would link to the activity. Since FatKid Dodgeball is the official band of the National Dodgeball League, a dodgeball tournament was the logical choice for an activity, Meyers said. They still hope to make Charity Dodgeball an annual occurrence, although the charity that receives the funds raised may change from year to year, according to Meyers.

Allie Mondini, a first-year zoology major at Miami, said the tournament and concert seem like a great idea because there’s currently not a lot being done about the situation in Darfur.

“(Students) always talk about genocides that happened in the past but now there is one actually happening and still we’re not doing anything to stop it,” Mondini said. “I think every little bit helps and I’m glad that people here at Miami are taking notice.”

Theta and SigEp hope to raise between $2,000 and $3,000 for IRC.

Sign ups for the game are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. April 16 to 19 at the Shriver Center and Bell Tower. The cost is $30 per team of six, according to Meyers.

The tournament will have three divisions: fraternity, sorority, and co-ed. Each co-ed team must have at least two girls on the team in order to be eligible to compete. People can also sign-up individually if they do not have a team, according to Meyers.

After the game, the band FatKid Dodgeball will be performing at from 10 to 11:30 p.m. at Brick Street Bar.

The cover charge for the following performance is $4 for people 21 and older and $7 for those under 21. All money raised will go to the IRC.