By Beshoy Shokralla
On Tuesday, February 23rd, the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi participated in a Day of Silence, meant to raise awareness of sexual assault and rape. The organization tabled in the campus center, their table featuring flyers while the fraternity brothers, in observance, remained silent. The flyers had several statistics printed on it, such as that every one-hundred and seven seconds a sexual assault occurs, and that 293,000 sexual assaults occur per year. It also spoke about the arrest rate, and how only 2% of cases actually lead to a jail sentence. According to Alpha Sigma Phi’s philanthropy chairman, Fabio Arias, the Day of Silence is meant to “communicate how many victims sexual assault feel”, and will be hosted monthly as “a means of raising awareness for the cause and hopefully encouraging victims on campus to speak up.” Additionally, the fraternity also spends a week late in the semester promoting the mission of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) through other means, like a beach ball toss game they use to educate the campus on sexual assault.
The Day of Silence isn’t the only event Alpha Sigma Phi hosts in order to raise awareness and help the community. They can also be found hosting a Coffee and Donut sale in Tiernan Hall, where all proceeds are donated to their other philanthropies like Aware Awake Alive, a non-profit organization that specializes in spreading awareness of the dangers of alcohol poisoning; Homes for our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds “mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans from Iraq Afghanistan”; Humane Society, an organization that rescues animals, advocates for animal rights, and works with local shelters to better animal treatment, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, an organization all about providing positive role models to children in communities across America. Furthermore, Alpha Sigma Phi has cooperated with other organizations on and off campus. They have worked with the Newman Center to help feed the homeless in Newark, and with the New York Blood Center to host blood drives on campus. According to Arias, last year they managed to “make NJIT one of the largest contributors of blood in NJ. For every donor from NJIT up to three lives can be saved!”
Alpha Sigma Phi is a very active and philanthropic fraternity on the NJIT campus, and continues to demonstrate the Highlander spirit through their many events and activities.