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Alpha Phi Omega holds fundraiser for troops
The co-ed community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega is holding a fundraiser to support American troops stationed in Iraq.
“It’s all about the troops,” said Melissa Arkin, a junior psychology major. “We don’t get into the politics of it. We support the people.”
The fundraiser “Operation Care Package” is taking place this week through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the student center. Monetary donations made to support the troops stationed in Iraq will be collected and sent to the U.S. Department of Defense.
“U.S. citizens are no longer allowed to send care packages over to troops themselves because of concerns about what people might put in them,” said Stefanie Holley, a senior English major. “The U.S. Department of Defense is collecting donations; that way they know what is being sent over.”
The fraternity will be selling items such as bracelets and magnets adorned with “support the troops” slogans. Holley stressed that the fraternity has “no stance” on the war and is strictly interested in supporting American troops stationed overseas.
“If citizens aren’t allowed to send packages themselves, we might as well do what we can to help out so that way they can get supplies that they need,” Holley said.
Alpha Phi Omega is accepting cash donations as well as Q-card donations. Organizers of the fundraiser feel that gaining a Q-card machine is an advantage because it is more convenient for students who do not carry around much cash.
“We just want to raise as much as we can,” Holley said. “As a chapter, we are interested in reaching out to the country as a whole and trying to do a project that will benefit [a good cause].”
Reaching out to the country is one of four areas that Alpha Phi Omega focuses its service projects. Services to the community, campus and chapter are the other areas in which it volunteers. Past Alpha Phi Omega events have included an eyeglasses drive, Girl Scout cookie sale and a Make-A-Wish Foundation “penny war” fundraiser. At the “penny war” fundraiser, each class had a jar that was to be filled with pennies. Whichever class’ jar had the most pennies in it by the end won the competition. Opposing classes could put nickels, dimes and quarters into other classes’ jars, which subtracts from that jar’s total value. Alpha Phi Omega has also helped a family that was displaced from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans move to Greater New Haven.
Holley, a four-year member of Alpha Phi Omega, came up with the idea of the fundraiser to support the soldiers. Working with Olivia Thayer, the vice president of the Quinnipiac chapter of the fraternity, they created the “Operation Care Package” campaign.
The service fraternity finds it difficult to make its existence known since it does not belong to the Greek Life Council at Quinnipiac. Not being included in the council hurts its exposure on campus, Alpha Phi Omega members say. Also, the group is often confused with the sorority Alpha Chi Omega, Arkin and Thayer said.
“We are kind of divided about it,” Holley said, referring to the group’s exclusion from the Greek Life Council. “There are some members of our organization that wish we were more involved with the other Greek organizations because they are very well known on campus. That is what we are trying to strive for.”