Last week, SF State’s fraternity Phi Kappa Tau held their fifth annual Red & Gold Week to raise funds for their philanthropy SeriousFun Camp.
The brothers tabled everyday in the quad to host a penny war with the sororities on campus. Each sorority had a specific jug on the table to donate anything from one penny to as much as desired. The donations helped them acquire points for the brother’s “Derby Daze” social. This prompted sororities to compete with each other while supporting Phi Kappa Tau’s cause SeriousFun Camp, a summer camp for terminally ill children.
“When we say hashtag for the children, it’s not just for us to say it but to mean it,” said Mark Saur, a Phi Kappa Tau brother who helped curate the week’s events.
Tram Nguyen, a member of the Delta Kappa Sigma sorority, participated in the penny wars on Wednesday. She said events like this are the reason she joined Greek life.
“Not only are you meeting new people but you are banding together as a community to give back,” Nguyen said.
Freshman Mitchel O’Brien, who was in charge of facilitating the penny wars, said this was his first semester in Phi Kappa Tau and taking on the position as a leader was challenging, yet enjoyable. He said this event not only raised money and awareness for a cause not well known to the SF State community, but it brought the competing organizations together.
“My favorite part of Red and Gold Week is seeing all the different organizations come out to help us raise money for our philanthropy,” O’Brien said. “It’s great to see unity in Greek life which is an otherwise competitive group of organizations.”
Along with the penny wars, the brothers hosted other events and games for people to participate in. Some people bribed the brothers to collect red or yellow bandanas for points. Others participated in a basket bid for things like a date with the brothers to a Giants games, a free breakfast from Devil’s Teeth Bakery or a bonfire social. Attendees were also given the opportunity to wax a brother for $5.
Brother Brian Banifatemi said the waxing was the most successful of the events. He said people participate in this event because it’s entertaining and funny. According to Banifatemi, being waxed isn’t as bad as it seems, especially when it’s for a good cause.
“I don’t think the pain is that bad,” Banifatemi said. “It sounds bad, but I think it’s not as painful as it’s made out to be, which is good.”
Banifatemi believes the fraternity’s Red and Gold Week was an overall success and they exceeded their $3,000 goal, raising more money than they have in previous years. And because all the proceeds are going to SeriousFun camp, which was started by their national alumni Paul Newman, he said events like these help shed a positive light on fraternities.
“Fraternities in mainstream media are usually portrayed very negatively,” Banifatemi said. “So for us as a fraternity on campus to do something that’s for a good cause shows we do a lot of great things in our fraternity that is way outside of the common stereotype of what a fraternity is.”