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News Fraternity promotes disability awareness

Fraternity promotes disability awareness

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Morgan McDowell and other members of the Greek community joined the men of Pi Kappa Phi at their annual empathy dinner, which is part of Pi Kappa Phi’s No Boundaries Week. The empathy dinner is put on to raise awareness. Kate Dearman/Printz
Morgan McDowell and other members of the Greek community joined
the men of Pi Kappa Phi at their annual empathy dinner, which is part of Pi Kappa Phi’s No Boundaries Week. The empathy dinner is put on to raise awareness.
Kate Dearman/Printz

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is spending this week raising awareness for their Push America philanthropy through No Boundaries Week.

“Push America was founded in 1977 as a non-profit organization, and today remains the philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi, designed to instill lifelong service in its fraternity members by serving people with disabilities,” said Austin Parden, a junior exercise science major.

“The goal of this week is not simply to raise money, but more importantly the awareness of people with disabilities and that it is not about their limitations but the focus on what they can do and who they are,” said Jacob Vickers, a junior business administration major and president of Pi Kappa Phi.

The men of Pi Kappa Phi use No Boundaries Week to raise awareness through three major events: an empathy dinner, the Pi Kapp Classic and bowling with the Arc
of Hattiesburg.

Tuesday night at the empathy dinner, attendees were assigned a specific disability, such as a loss in hearing or cerebral palsy, and had to eat their entire dinner as if they had that disability. This is meant to give people an understanding of what others who have these conditions have to live with every day.

Wednesday night is the Pi Kapp Classic, an event that many people are looking forward to.

“All fraternities will compete in a single-elimination tournament with the winner of the fraternity bracket playing Pi Kappa Phi in the Overall Championship at 7:30 p.m.,” said Parden, philanthropy chair for Pi Kappa Phi. “The game will be commentated by Donnie Tyndall and Toby Barker. During the time-outs and halftime of the games the sororities will have a shootout in which they compete to see who can score the most points in 30 seconds.”

Thursday night is a night of bowling with the Arc of Hattiesburg. According to their website, the Arc of Hattiesburg is a United Way non-profit organization devoted to providing community-based services to individuals with mental challenges as well as their families.

No Boundaries Week is something the men of Pi Kappa Phi work hard toward every year, and they hope their efforts to organize these events do not go in vain.

“I hope many people will come out and support such a noble cause,” Vickers said. “If only one person is influenced and gains a heart for people with disabilities, it is all worth it. The expectations are high, but our goal is just to see people with disabilities smile and men and women gain a greater passion for people with disabilities, all along the way raising money for them.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed Pi Kappa Phi’s No Boundaries Week last year,” said Sarah Beth Selph, a sophomore communication studies major. “It was an eye-opening experience to understand the lives of people with disabilities. Pi Kappa Phi and Push America are both outstanding organizations that truly benefit a great cause.”

For anyone hoping to keep up with the events of No Boundaries Week, follow @NBW_USMPiKapp on Twitter or join the Pi Kappa Phi No Boundaries Week 2014 Facebook page.

Yolanda Cruz
Social Media and Copy Editor. Senior News Editorial Journalism major/Political Science minor at The University of Southern Mississippi. Honors College Ambassador. Love reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Hoping to move to a big city one day.

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