Greeks have warm hearts despite cold weather

While most people were in their warm beds during the snowstorm on Friday, Feb. 26, Kappa Sigma brothers were out in the freezing snow.The fraternity kicked off “Sleepout for the Soldiers,” a 24-hour charity event, at 5 p.m. with roadside collections and hot chocolate and food for sale.”[The] sleepout was a huge success and we will be donating $2,000 to the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Fund,” Kappa Sigma President Peter Andriakos said.The fund supports the Fischer House Foundation, an organization that sets up rehabilitation centers for wounded soldiers, Andriakos said.”In Vermont, not everyone supports the war — myself included — but it’s inevitable, and the soldiers are coming back wounded and they need rehabilitation,” he said. “No matter what your views are, you can’t downplay the fact that they need our help.”UVM’s chapter of Kappa Sigma was not the only Greek life organization participating in the event, Andriakos said.”All 33 UVM brothers, 30 brothers from UMaine and 25 from SUNY Plattsburgh’s colony are all coming to help,” he said.Furthermore, other UVM sororities made and donated baked goods that were sold throughout the event, Andriakos said.”We have gotten a lot of donations from so many organizations, it’s been really great,” he said.Donators included Boloco, Klingers Bread for grilled cheese and pastries and Ace Hardware for industrial lights to set up for the darker hours of the event, he said.During the day on Saturday was the busiest time because of all of the people headed down to the Mardi Gras parade, senior Kappa Sigma member Andrew Kleppe said.”It is perfect that we did this during Mardi Gras because we are getting some heavy, heavy traffic at this light which is backing up everyone so we can ask them for donations,” Kleppe said. “The cars know what to do when they pull and we are really getting a lot of money.”Sophomore Nicole Fenton said she is concerned that many students who would have been interested in donating didn’t because of a lack of publicizing.”I think that it sounds like it was a really good way to support our troops, I wish I had known about it so I could have donated,” Fenton said. “I didn’t notice any signs around campus or anything.”Regardless of publicity, Andriakos said the event was a success.”We just had a great response from the Burlington population with the roadside coin drops,” he said. “Everyone is really happy about Mardi Gras as well as supporting the military, and we are just really proud of our guys that came out today.”Kappa Sigma’s former President Greg Swank said he hopes this event can fight stereotypes that all fraternities do is cause trouble and party.”I just wish that they could see the sorts of activities, just like Sleepout, that we actually do for the community,” Swank said.  “The vast majority of the population of college students, and UVM is no exception, never do a single hour of community service throughout their matriculation. Every one of my brothers just volunteered for 24 hours.”