Nine sororities compete in greek olympics to help out charities

By Jesse Lewis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Today begins the "War of Roses," in which nine campus sororities will compete in a greek Olympics-style competition to raise money for a charity and raise disability awareness.

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity organized the week of events that will feature, among other events, a scaffold on the Mall manned from noon today until noon Thursday, said Ian Sambor, president of the fraternity.

For the full 48 hours that the scaffold is up, some of Pi Kappa Phi's 120 members will be sitting on the scaffold at all times. The men will collect donations, and each of the participating sororities will also have an hour or more to stand on the scaffolding and raise as much money as possible.

The women will face-off in pink Pi Kappa Phi shorts today from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., participating in such events as tug-of-war, sumo wrestling, obstacle course, jousting, mechanical bull riding, and slip-n-slide.

The fraternity hopes to raise at least $3,000 to support PUSH America, the fraternity's national exclusive philanthropy that helps people with disabilities. PUSH stands for People Understanding the Severely Handicapped.

Tomorrow is the Greek Idol competition from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. in the Social Sciences building, room 100. Like the popular TV show, "American Idol," two women from each sorority will sing and dance for a panel of judges. A $1 donation is required to attend.

Sambor expects a lot of people to turn out for the events and thinks there will be a lot of spirit, especially at the Greek Idol competition.

"It will probably be sectioned off for each (sorority) house, so there will be a lot of spirit going on," he said.

On Thursday, there will be a softball game between the sororities at the Ina E. Gidding's field from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., and Saturday there will be a powder-puff flag football game on the UA Mall from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Pi Kappa Phi will hold an informative open house Friday night from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. for a more professional discussion about PUSH America and the week's events at the fraternity's house, 1449 N. Cherry Ave.

The fraternity members will also use the evening to show their appreciation for the sororities and everyone else involved.

"We want them to know we appreciate them, because they could have not agreed to do any of this," Sambor said.

Nine sororities, including Alpha Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Sigma Kappa, Chi Omega and Alpha Chi Omega, will be participating in the "War."

The event is named the "War of Roses" after the fraternity's national flower, national song "The Rose" and their vision of women, Sambor said.

"Every girl involved in our lives is essentially a rose," Sambor said.

In past years, sororities participated in the Delt Games, which had different pledge classes competing against each other to raise money for charity. In Pi Kappa Phi's "War," houses will compete as one. Laura Gillig, Kappa Kappa Gamma philanthropy chair, said her chapter is excited about the events and knows the week will create unity among members.

"It's a whole house involvement with girls from all the different pledge classes," Gillig said.

Pi Kappa Phi raised the most philanthropy money last year, earning the Dean's Award for Excellence, which is given out for chapters on the basis of chapter GPA, leadership and involvement on campus.

The chapter also won the Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol award last year, according to the UA Greek Life Web site.

Sambor said the "War of Roses" will not involve alcohol in any way. Pi Kappa Phi members are not allowed to have alcohol in the house for the week, and the chapter will not host any parties in conjunction with the event, he said.

The week's activities were completely planned by the chapter and some of the sororities. Greek Life had no involvement in the plans. Sambor said Pi Kappa Phi is very focused on raising disability awareness and holds many fundraisers to support the cause.

The chapter also helps to raise awareness with hands-on activities. In the past, Pi Kappa Phi has hosted an empathy dinner with campus sororities, in which sorority members are paired up with Pi Kappa Phi members and given a disability for the evening.

Dinner participants experience what it is like to be disabled by eating with one arm tied behind their back, blindfolded, etc., Sambor said.

Sororities that participate in the "War of Roses" will earn points for each event accomplished and for money raised. In the end, the sorority with the most points will earn a trophy and be invited to the Pi Kappa Phi house for a professionally-catered dinner.