Sigma Pi to give back with fundraising, random acts of kindness

GVL / Courtesy - Facebook

GVL / Courtesy - Facebook

Taylor Crowley

Diversity on a college campus can make or break a student’s experience at a university. Recognizing this, the Grand Valley State University Sigma Pi fraternity Theta Rho chapter (Sigma Pi) has big plans to show what diversity means to them by giving back to the GVSU community. 

Starting in April, the fraternity men will participate in what they call “random acts of kindness.” During the week of April 9 through April 13, the men will actively participate in giving and caring for somebody completely random.

For a Sigma Pi brother, a random act could mean buying a coffee and giving it to a bus driver or an international student just to make them smile. A photo of the act will be taken and posted to the fraternity’s social media to show off the brothers’ appreciation for the people they surprised with random acts of kindness. 

According to Ahmad Stewart, active member of Sigma Pi and the altruistic campus experience chairman, 80 percent of the chapter (which now has 76 members) participated in the initiative last year.

Stewart expressed his intention to give back specifically to the international students at GVSU, whom he believes are often “overlooked.” His goal is to make GVSU feel like a home away from home for them. 

Stewart also hopes to recognize The Cultural Diversity Club at GVSU. His ideas include potentially hosting a dinner that celebrates a specific culture and donating the money that is raised to the club.

As far as actually donating money to international students, Sigma Pi is hosting an event in the month of April called “Pie a Sigma Pi” where GVSU students will donate money to throw a plate of whipped cream in the face of fraternity brother. 

Last year, this event did not have the turnout Stewart had hoped for, and he plans to spread the word more to the community to make this year different. He is looking to spread the word about all of the upcoming events and connect with anyone who is willing to help.  

Another event that Sigma Pi annually hosts is called “Stuff the Bus.” The entire chapter participates in this event, which involves the brothers running a food drive using a bus or truck. 

All students at GVSU are welcome to donate food items, and all donations will be transported to the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity where they will then be distributed to GVSU’s student food pantry, Replenish. 

“Everyone is usually playing bag toss, throwing a football, just hanging out listening to music,” said Justin Terveen, an active member of the fraternity. “It’s a good connection with the community—it’s not just giving food items away.”