Philanthropy is in the air the first week back from reading week and it’s all thanks to the Lambda colony of Sigma Chi, one of Brock University’s Fraternities on campus. Sigma Chi will be hosting its annual Derby Days charity events, a week composed of five different events hosted for the four sororities on campus to participate, raise money for charity, and shine a brighter spot light on the benefits of Greek life.
These events include Sigma Chi Trivia hosted this past Monday, a Brother Auction at 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Mansion House, a lip sync battle Wednesday between 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., also at the Mansion House, a “find the Sig” competition Thursday across campus, and a dodgeball tournament Friday night between 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
The theme this year is Harry Potter, the sororities acting as different Hogwarts houses.
The tradition of Derby Days can be linked back all the way to Sigma Chi’s Alpha Beta chapter at the University of California-Berkeley, being formed in the spring of 1933 under the name of Channingway Derby. This sponsored event had been composed of a “series of humorous skits.” Word of the popularity of Channingway Derby spread to other chapters and has since been adopted.
It was later, specifically the 1960’s, that Derby Days began to be used as a method for philanthropy.
In more recent years, Sigma Chi has chosen the Huntsman Cancer Institute as its primary charity, raising over $6 million in total between all of its chapters.
“This year the founder of Huntsman, Jon Huntsman himself, has passed away because of prostate cancer,” said Brian Truong, brother of Sigma Chi Lambda and head chair of Derby Days. “We really wanted to make it an important Derby Days this year.”
Truong also noted that many members of Greek Life had been personally affected by cancer this year due to the passing of sorority sister and founding mother of Delta Psi Delta Theta Chapter, Katherine Oswald, who lost her battle with cancer back in October 2017.
Last year the Lambda colony of Sigma Chi raised over $1,250 during Derby Days for the Huntsman Institute. This year, they’re hoping to double that.
While most of the events will be geared towards the participation of the different sororities on campus, there are many ways the Brock community can get involved and help support Sigma Chi’s charity work. The Daily Grind Cafe, located on the second floor of the Student-Alumni Centre, has partnered with Sigma Chi Lambda and is offering a specialty drink throughout the week with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“Any non-Greek Life and the Brock community can get committed through buying these lattes there,” says Truong.
There is also a donation page available if community members who would like to make direct donations as well.
Separate donation pages will also be available as a way to support each sorority team.
Additional to helping raise money for charity, Truong hopes that Derby Days will help the Brock community come away with a different perspective on Greek Life.
“A really big thing about Greek Life is people have a negative perception of it,” “From my experiences, everybody in Greek Life has some sort of [experiences] with philanthropy because every organization within Greek Life is a non-profit.”
Derby Days runs from February 26 to March 2. For more information about Derby Days of Sigma Chi Lambda, please visit their Facebook page at: facebook.com/sigmachibrocku/.