Philanthropy and Community Service

Sigma Pi has a long history of philanthropy and community service, which are part of the core values of the fraternity. The alumni philanthropy committee, chaired by Kurt Rasmussen ’80, oversees and assists the undergraduate philanthropic activities and coordinates with the Mu Chapter Educational Foundation as appropriate. The following are some of the more prominent and active examples of the work being done by its members.

As a testament to this commitment, our brothers continue to excel in leadership positions in the community and on campus, with numerous involvements in prominent organizations, including Student Agencies Inc., Cornell’s oldest student-run business. Drew Lord ’18 was elected president of Cornell’s Interfraternity Council. College Mentors for Kids continues to be a huge success on campus, with brothers holding positions on the executive board (e.g., President David Golding ’18) and many others brothers having roles as general managers and mentors.


College Mentors for Kids

College Mentors for Kids members

The Sigma Pi Educational Foundation generously donated the seed money needed to establish a College Mentors for Kids chapter at Cornell University in 2012. Since then, the organization has tripled in size and now serves 120 at-risk elementary school students from the Ithaca area by providing them with one-to-one mentorship on campus once a week. Most of these children come from low-income homes or homes in which their parents did not receive a college education. In this program, the on-campus weekly activities are centered on the principles of community service, higher education, and cultural diversity. The chapter’s mission is to connect elementary students with college students who will serve as role models and help them envision a positive and successful future for themselves. Hosting the students on Cornell’s campus gives the elementary school students early access to the world of higher education, and the exposure makes them realize that they too can become college students one day. Distinguished professors often speak with the students and help enrich their growing understanding of the world.

Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi still plays an integral role in the functioning of this organization. The executive board this year includes Alex Stotter ’18, David Golding ’18, Shailen Doshi ’19, Ari Perlmutter ’19, and Jack D’Agostino ’19. Six brothers also serve on the staff level as the director of fundraising, activities director, or general managers. Fifteen brothers participate as mentors in the organization. In sum, roughly 20% of the 135 Cornell students involved with College Mentors are Sigma Pi men, but the brothers in our house bring an obvious strategic leadership and operational capacities critical to the organization. Continued expansion plans are underway as our chapter works toward serving even more students from a greater network of elementary schools. The Cornell chapter, which is one of many that encompass the national 501(c)(3) organization, is actively searching for additional sources of funding to continue growing its impact on the greater Ithaca community.

For more information, visit www.collegementors.org, www.facebook.com/CornellUniversityCollegeMentorsForKids, or contact David DellaPelle at djd259@cornell.edu or at 973-886-6701.


Cayuga’s Watchers

Since its founding in 2012, Cayuga’s Watchers has become a staple on Cornell’s campus. Cayuga’s Watchers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to mitigate the harms of high-risk drinking. The organization recruits, trains, and hires undergraduate students who are paid to attend campus social events at the request of the hosting organization. While on duty, the trained employees remain sober and intervene in a non-confrontational manner (meaning in a subtle, friendly, and non-obvious fashion so as not to create any conflict) when their peers have too much to drink, feel threatened by the sexual advances of others, or risk injuring themselves or those around them.

This past year, the nonprofit trained over 3,500 students in bystander invention and staffed 118 social events. Most importantly, employees reported taking a total of 482 intermediate actions while on duty, 56 of which were against unwanted sexual advances.

Cayuga’s Watchers has enjoyed a particularly strong relationship with the brothers of Sigma Pi. The organization has employed several brothers, staffed over 20 of its social events, and hosted in-house bystander-intervention trainings at least once per year since 2013. Many brothers have also taken up leadership positions within the organization: Shailen Doshi ’19, who currently serves as the VP of business solutions, and Drew Lord ’18, who formerly served as president.

Please visit cayugaswatchers.org for more information or to learn about how to contribute support.



 

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