The annual Pi Beta Phi Philanthropy night turned out looking a lot different than previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a response to the pandemic, there was less time to prepare for the ceremony. This year its location was moved to the Community Room in the library.
Usually, planning for this event takes place during the summer and goes into the school year, but unfortunately, planning for the event didn’t start production until the end of Aug.
Despite the setback, the event managed to turn out spectacular, with the help of Kim Neiman and the community relations team.
The community relations team comprises Kim Neiman, director of service and philanthropy, Ashylnn Houser, director of PR and marketing and Sophie Crenik, vice president of community relations.
Pi Phi’s Elites, previously Mr. Pi Phi, was a challenge to plan this year since it was being done virtually.
“The event is a competition between fraternities, where they will send a contestant from each chapter that wants to participate,” Neiman said. “We had 8 fraternities that participated, who paid $50 to come in and go straight to our philanthropy. During the event they do 3 rounds: speed reading, literacy [or] Pi Phi facts and a talent portion.”
Speed reading and the literacy or Pi Phi facts were chosen as tasks because Pi Phi wanted to relate the event as much as they could to their philanthropy.
Though the event was originally going to be on the West Lawn, Pi Phi decided to have it in the library because the acoustics were better for Zoom.
Sororities also participated as judges, paying $25 to come and sit at the judges table to help tally things up, while also voting on people's energy and overall performances during the talent session.
“The most fun thing about the event is that we split up our sorority into different hype teams, so there was a group of six women who were cheering for one fraternity the whole week leading up to the philanthropy event,” Neiman said. “Phi Kappa Psi won this year and so there were pictures of our hype team and him everywhere.”
All of the profits from t-shirt sales done in the week prior to the event went to the philanthropy, which is “Read > Lead > Achieve,” advocating for children’s literacy in America.
“Considering the circumstances and all the social distancing protocols, I think Pi Beta Phi did a great job at putting on an awesome show that really showed the dedication to philanthropy that so many student organizations have,” said Phi Delta Theta brother Emmett Twomey, who also participated in the competition.