Friday, February 15, 2008

Murray State Sig Eps and AOPi's Head Up Tornado Relief

Student organizations support tornado victims
Robin Phelps

After last week's turbulent weather, Murray State organizations have stepped up to support the students at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., after a tornado left the campus devastated.

The tornado not only destroyed the women's dorms and collapsed buildings, but also put nine students in the hospital overnight and left many students without living necessities, according to a Union University spokesperson.

Although Murray State sits 90 miles away from Union University, some of Murray State's organizations showed concern for the students devastated by the tornado.Linda Dinh, sophomore from Murray, said her sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity decided to help a cause close to home by holding a Rock-In Rescue.

"We just need to show that the Greeks aren't just here to have fun, but to help others out and show support for other universities and other students," Dinh said.

Rock-In Rescue is a rock band tournament using the Guitar Hero video game. Within the divisions of sororities, fraternities, residential colleges and independent organizations, students may compete in the Rock-In Rescue tournament. The winning team of three or four people will receive a plaque and gift certificate to various local businesses.

The cost per team is $25 with sign ups on the second floor of the Curris Center. Rock-In Rescue will begin at 4:30 p.m., Friday in the Curris Center Ballroom. Admittance is $2 or free by bringing two school supplies or toiletry items. All proceeds will benefit the students of Union University.

Greek organizations are not the only supporters of Union University. The Student Government Association is also sponsoring a fundraiser by collecting toiletries, school supplies and monetary donations for a residential college floor wars incentive. The efforts of these groups have been from university-run organizations, but for Mallory Allgood, junior from Gilbertsville, Ky., there are no organizational ties to her actions to support the Union University victims.

Allgood was motivated to aid the students of Union University because of close friends who attend the college and lived in the dorms that were physically torn apart by the tornado.

"She said she grabbed her chapstick and her flashlight and ran," Allgood said of her friend who sought safety in a bathtub with several other girls. After speaking with the president of Union University, Allgood was told that giftcards to stores like Wal-Mart and Target and fastfood restaurants would be the most helpful to the students.

"They can't replace everything they lost," Allgood said. "This would take a lot of stress off of them."The drive to collect giftcards will begin Sunday and continue for two weeks. Students are encouraged to donate gift cards of at least $15 and deposit them in boxes within their residential colleges or at the Curris Center on the second floor.