Posted on Jun 28, 2007

Dear Union College Faculty, Staff and Administration,

We believe that it is important to keep you updated on the actions of Greeks on campus and in the community. The main goal of these newsletters is to inform the college community of what Greeks are doing in an attempt to change the current mindset that Greek life is simply a weekend social structure. It is our intention to underscore the Greek commitment to both community service in Schenectady and promoting an intellectual environment here at Union. From this, we hope to build a stronger relationship with the college. I hope that you read this letter and take it seriously; it is our sincere desire to be an integral and helpful part of the Union community… more so than we may have been in the past. This is a real commitment on our part, and we appreciate your support. If you have any questions, comments or concerns for us, or would like to be involved in an event sponsored by a Greek organization, please contact me, William Fitzsimons, at

On To the Fraternities:

The brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon had a huge term for philanthropy. They co-hosted a charity volleyball tournament with Sigma Phi, which was very popular with the whole campus. DKE set up a booth at U-Care for a fun day of playing sports with local children. DKE’s most successful event was the first annual DKE/Union College Cycling Club Charity Bike Ride. This event got a lot of participation from Union students, faculty and staff, as well as people from the whole Capital District area, and raised a lot of money for United Way. On the environmental side, every term, DKE cleans up their adopted highway (look for the sign on I-890), and the brothers continued their recycling program from the fall. DKE invited Professor Olberg from Biology to give a fascinating talk on his current research, and their house hosted a successful Big Brothers/Big Sisters BBQ and games day.

The brothers of Phi Delta Theta came up with a novel philanthropy idea of charging people to participate in a “car bash,” where one can destroy an old car for only a nominal fee. The proceeds all went to the ALS association to combat Lou Gehrig’s disease. They also travelled to a local church to clean it up and do some necessary interior decorating. Phi Delta Theta hosted Professor Kenney from the Economics Department to speak on a large variety of academic subjects, and they provided much needed help for Relay for Life.

Our newest fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, continued to show their concern for the local environment by participating in re-Tree Schenectady, a semi-annual event where groups from throughout the community get together to plant and care for local trees. AEPi was very helpful with Relay for Life, and they also made a substantial monetary contribution to the Rolling for Autism charity event.

The brothers of Sigma Chi had a lot of success with their philanthropy events this term. They participated in a nation-wide Sigma Chi event, “Derby Days,” and raised over two thousand dollars for the very important Schenectady Free Health Clinic. Derby Days included a fun campus-wide bowling event, a karaoke night and a campus BBQ. Also, during Greek Week, they had a very successful blood drive (something the brothers of Sigma Chi try to do every term), and the Red Cross officials were, as always, highly impressed generosity of the student body, as demonstrated by very high turnout.

The brothers of Theta Delta Chi were busy this term. They joined with the caretakers of historic Vale Cemetery to do a much needed clean-up. They worked with sorority Sigma Delta Tau during a mock-casino night to raise money for combating child abuse. A number of brothers went into the community to speak at Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) events and warn children about the dangers of drug use. Those who attended U-Care day, which is the largest community event the school hosts throughout the year, can thank TDChi for feeding them, as they provided and cooked food for the whole event. Some TDChi member showed their dedication to helping the elderly when they spent an afternoon playing cards and board games with residents of a nursing home. TDChi hosted a presentation on the dangers of performance enhancing drugs (steroids), and some brothers also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, a charity with whom they have developed an excellent relationship.

The brothers of Alpha Delta Phi, played a big part in helping to run the Relay for Life grill. Additionally, they had two interesting academic events this term. Their annual AD literary competition is coming up next week, and they hosted a medieval dinner, where they presented scenes from a play.

The brothers of Sigma Phi were heavily involved in the letter campaign for the “Step it Up” rally, which targeted carbon emissions. A few weeks ago, the whole campus had the opportunity to “Pie-a-Phi,” where they could donate money to charity to throw a pie at some of the braver volunteer brothers. This hilarious event raised a lot of money and was fun for (almost!) everyone involved. Sigma Phi co-hosted a very successful charity volleyball tournament with Delta Kappa Epsilon. Brothers also helped run the Relay for Life event, and they joined with faculty from the History Department to help clean up the historic locks of Schenectady.

The brothers of Psi Upsilon participated in a number of philanthropy events over this past term. On April 14th, a number of the brothers joined in the "Step it Up 2007" rally, a walk from West College to the Schenectady Town Hall that was part of a nationwide fundraiser to combat carbon emissions. Psi U collaborated with the Junior Achievement group, in the Schenectady elementary schools where five brothers spent one morning each week tutoring second graders on the fundamentals of personal economics, including the difference between wants and needs and the contributions of each individual to their community. Recently they held their annual Black Light Party, where, throughout the night, they collected donations for the Shaun Grady Foundation. The Grady foundation was set up by the family of one of Psi U’s more recent alumni, Kevin Grady, whose mother died of cancer. The foundation was set up to help families with children sick with terminal illnesses. On May 19th, ten brothers joined in with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to clean up a recycling plant that will soon become Schenectady's main Habitat headquarters.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about all the things we are doing in the Greek community. Spring term is always big for us, and we feel like, as a community, we’ve done a lot of really good things. Our focus this term was developing the local Schenectady community. This fall, we want to turn our attention inward, and we plan on helping more to maintain the physical appearance of our campus, and on doing more academic/intellectual events. Again, please contact me with any questions, comments or concerns, or if you are interested in having a fraternity organize an event, provide a forum for discussion, or if there is anything else we can help you with.

Thanks for reading!

Will Fitzsimons, ‘08
VP of Philanthropy, Inter-Fraternity Council