By Ashlee Hall, Lifestyles editor
Amidst their busy schedules, students at the University of Montevallo are getting creative in their ways of giving back to the community.
The university has over 100 student organizations, ranging from Greek life chapters, to SGA and University Program Council. Many of them host or participate in community service events to support various philanthropies.
With so many clubs raising money for various causes, students have to think of interesting ways to encourage participation in their philanthropy events. The events range from pageants to watermelon busting competitions.
Unique events on the schedule encourage attendance of more students from other organizations, increasing donations made to the philanthropy.
“When the semester gets really busy, it is really nice to be able to take a break and go to the philanthropies. Not only do you get to hang out with your friends doing something fun but you are also getting to support the other chapters and donate to a good cause,” says member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Mary Kate Middlebrook.
The planning and preparation process starts long before the event takes place. The Philanthropy Chairs for Greek organizations must reserve the time and space, plan the event, work with the Student Life office and stay in communication with the other student organizations on campus.
“My favorite part is getting to spend time with my brothers and see everyone come out and have fun at the event that we worked hard to put together,” says Alpha Tau Omega’s Philanthropy Chair, Casey Jones.
Depending on the event, it can take lots of preparation from the participating organizations. Alpha Gamma Delta hosts an event every fall called Lip Jam. The fraternities and sororities are assigned a musical artist and they are asked to create a lip syncing dance number to a setlist of their choosing. Some chapters begin preparing for Lip Jam as early as two months in advance.
“Lip Jam is my favorite event of the whole year. We put in tons of hours learning the choreography and music but when we finally get to perform it for everyone, it makes all of the hard work worth it,” says member of Phi Mu, Jenna Hwang.
Not all events are focused on raising money. The Student Government Association plans the Big Event every spring. All campus organizations and sports teams are assigned a place or someone’s home in the Montevallo area to go and serve for the day. After their assigned projects are completed, all of the students come back to Farmer Hall to eat lunch after a day of community service.
“Serving as the philanthropy chair for SGA and having the opportunity to serve the community and help those so close to us like the Boys and Girls club or help clean up people’s yard is so special to me,” says SGA’s philanthropy chair, Abi Dewilde.
With the semester coming to a close, these students can look back and be proud of all of the hard work they have put into giving back and bettering their community.
“It’s been rewarding to work with and see all the organization’s philanthropies. To see the events from the Watermelon Bust to the Talent Show to the Lip-Sync, I know the chapters have been hard at work to bring their events together and seeing the impact that has on others and the members planning is one of the greatest satisfactions I have in my role,” says Assistant Director of Student Life, James Spry.