Photo and Story by Connor Burnard / Contributing Writer
On Tuesday afternoon, MTSU Fraternity and Sorority Life finalized its donation of 5,343 food items and $743.13 to the MTSU Student Food Pantry. The donation came as a part of MTSU Greek Week, an annual celebration of Greek life on MTSU’s campus.
Members of the Greek Week committee, the College Panhellenic, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council were present as well as Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Leslie Merritt, Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Zakary Gosa-Lewis and employees of the Student Food Pantry.
Shalayna Hoekstra, the chair of the Greek Week Committee and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said that helping the student body of MTSU by collecting food was meaningful to members of the Greek community.
“Knowing how much the amount we’re donating is going to be able to give back to not only the Murfreesboro community, but specifically the MTSU community, is very humbling to me and very exciting to me that our community put in this much work,” Hoekstra said. “Not only are there members of the FSL community that have had to use resources from the MTSU Food Pantry, so obviously that directly helps those students in our community, but I think that it also helps because service is one of the main parts and key components of our organizations.
Jake West, another member of the Greek Week Committee and a member of Alpha Tau Omega, said that the donation as a part of Greek Week helped bring members of the Greek community closer together while contributing to a cause.
“We all have a purpose, to want to serve and help give back, whether it’s a part of our organizations or as a whole,” West said. “To model Greek Week, which is supposed to be celebrating fraternities and sororities and praising them for the work that they do throughout the year, I think it’s only right and fit to have a cause such as this, so that we can all come together regardless of what individual philanthropies we have and bring the entire community together for one main cause. I think that’s what Greek Week is all about.”
FSL Director Leslie Merritt said that the effort behind the donation is an indicator of what members of the Fraternity and Sorority Life community strive to achieve.
“A core value of Fraternity and Sorority Life here at MTSU is service to those that are less fortunate or in need,” Merritt said. “It meant a lot to be able to give back to the students at MTSU and really have a direct impact on our university. The Student Food Pantry is such a great cause because… sometimes we forget that college students, while in college still have jobs, but might not can always afford the necessities in life. So we hope that this is just a way to help them do great in the classroom and not have to worry.”
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