AST Charity Ball – A Night of Fun and Philanthropy
By Sahitya Allam and Vignatha Margam
Alpha Sigma Tau, a national sorority on campus, promotes the ethical, social, and cultural development of its members. The sorority was first founded in 1899, and the Beta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau at NJIT was founded in 1983, making it the oldest sorority on campus. The sorority strives to impact this development at NJIT and the greater Newark community through philanthropic outreach.
On the evening of Tuesday, November 16, the sisters of Alpha Sigma Tau organized the AST Charity Ball in Ballrooms A and B of the Campus Center. The proceeds from the ball were donated to Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), which aims to combat homelessness by building proper homes and shelter for those in need around the world. To date, HFHI has assisted more than 1 million families – representing 5 million people – in improving their living conditions since its founding in 1976.
Every year, the sorority hosts the event in order to donate to the philanthropy. The theme of the ball changes every year. This year, they hosted an elegant masquerade ball, with the glitz and glamor of facemasks, dresses, and photo shoots. Last year, they hosted a very popular carnival themed ball.
Attending the AST Charity Ball this year was a speaker from Habitat for Humanity who came to address the attendees. There was also a raffle; the proceeds from which were donated to HFHI. All of the food present was donated by restaurants in the Ironbound for the night’s event. It was a very entertaining but also purposeful event.
In addition to Habitat for Humanity International, AST is also affiliated with the Pine Mountain Settlement School, which is a nonprofit institution that provides schooling and academic services. It originally began as a boarding school established in 1913 for mountain children. By 1972, the school evolved to concentrate its teaching more toward Appalachian culture and environmental education. Today, the school is a National Historic Landmark located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains.
Apart from these national philanthropies, the chapter at NJIT is also affiliated with Newark Girls, which is a local philanthropy that empowers girls and provides tutoring for them. The sorority holds bake sales throughout the year to fundraise for their philanthropies.
Events like the Charity Ball are ways to come together as a school and community to make differences in others’ lives. What stood out about the Ball was that the attendees were given a chance to learn more about the charity they were donating to since the guest speaker of the night was a representative from HFHI. Many times we donate to charities without a second thought, satisfied with ourselves for committing a good deed but never stopping to understand what we are truly donating to, the real purpose or extent of the charity’s outreach. At the Charity Ball, the Alpha Sigma Tau sisters did an amazing job of informing others about their philanthropy and much more. Overall, it was a fantastic event with great music and food organized for an even greater cause.