Smash for a Cure

PHOTO TAKEN by Taylor Copp

PHOTO TAKEN by Taylor Copp

Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) teamed up with Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), a Pre-Professional Health Honor Society, to host their 3rd annual car smash on Tuesday, Sept. 17, outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC).

Over 70 students and faculty members actively participated in the car smash, and countless others donated without participating in the smashing. TKE and AED helped raise over $375 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Brian Deo, senior and business management major, worked tirelessly to make sure that the car smash was a success.

Deo was responsible for contacting Joe Mazza, of Mazza Scrap Metal, LLC who was able to donate the car to the fundraising event. Deo also worked with Student Services as well as University Facilities Management to ensure safety precautions to students and faculty members including protective eyewear, safety waivers and a barrier around the car.

“This is definitely a unique way of fundraising,” said Deo. “It is a great way to get the student body involved while still donating.”

Giovanni Casale, senior and finance major, also played a key role in the car smash. Casale helped obtain the safety supplies, but moreover, was actively seen getting many students to take a swing at the car.

Casale said, “Last year this fundraiser was more for homecoming, but this year it’s strictly a fundraiser. Regardless, it’s something fun for students to do, destroying something for a good cause.”

Historically, TKE has held their car smashes during the week of homecoming to energize the student body, but this year it was “strictly a fundraiser.”

Shayna Popkin, senior and president of AED, was very excited to lend a helping hand during the TKE Car Smash. “We asked TKE to be a part of this fundraiser because we want to help raise money for St. Jude as well,” says Popkin.

“This is a great way to make freshmen and sophomores aware of our program, and it’s also a fun and energetic way to raise money for St. Jude,” Popkin continued.

To be a part of the AED Pre-Professional Health Honor Society, you would have to have at least a 3.2 GPA, and at least 12 Biology credits to apply. AED has hosted numerous events in the past, including volunteering at an AIDS house last year, a Polar Bear Club event, and other cancer awareness events.

Popkin said, “We like helping people. As a club, we like to help do good things.”

TKE’s third annual car smash made active participants sign waivers prior to partaking in the smashing activities.

Early in last year’s fall semester, TKE had planned a car smash, but plans were derailed due to Superstorm Sandy.

This is the first of many TKE hosted philanthropic events. TKE plans to host a dodgeball tournament and a “Dancing with the Tekes” fundraiser later in the year.

New Friends is a “MUST”

PHOTO COURTESY of Susan Bennett

PHOTO COURTESY of Susan Bennett

Over 150 students and one faculty member participated in the “Take a Seat, Meet a Friend” event held by the new Monmouth University Street Team (MUST) during the Involvement Fair on Wednesday, September 18.

Students were encouraged to take a dip in a ball pit where 1,000 balls sat, each with a different question written on it. While in the ball pit, students took turns asking each other the different questions written on each ball.

“The purpose of this club is to have people sit, talk about big ideas and connect,” said Susan Bennett, advisor of MUST club. “It’s fun and makes you feel good to relate to people on a different level in an unexpected way and we also are gearing our events around things that we must do.”

The majority of the people who took part in the event were total strangers who ended up sharing personal information in an uncommon environment.

“There’s inevitably going to be tough issues of the day that have to be addressed, and when you have a setting to be able to do that, it’s just the right thing to do on a residential campus,” said University President Paul Brown.

Overall, the MUST club desires to create unique opportunities on campus that will encourage people to think and talk about big, meaningful things, while simultaneously promoting a general positive outlook on life, Bennet explained.

Students explained that they were curious to see what the ball pit was because it is an uncommon thing to see on a college campus. Zareen Shueiv, freshman and business major at the University said she was drawn to the event because she hasn’t been in a ball pit since she was a kid and it generated many happy memories.

Janaya Lewinski, a freshman political science major, said she didn’t know the club existed although she was drawn to it because of the ball pit.

“My first thoughts were ‘what’s that?’ and then hearing the idea of this being a conduit to having a good dialogue around a topic really hit a sweet spot,” said Brown.

“But any excuse to have just a couple more folks, if not a lot more folks, to interact and talk about the issue of the day is great,” he continued.

Ryan Murphy, president of MUST, was extremely happy with the overall turnout and success of the event. “The fact that we had students consistently in the ball pit meeting new people and talking about interesting topics made the team think our first showing was a success,” said Murphy.

Murphy continued that students who participated in the event all seemed to enjoy themselves, many were found tweeting and instagramming their activities.

“Getting into a random blown up pool with strangers takes guts – something that Monmouth students have a lot of,” Murphy said.

The idea for the club came about this summer during new student orientation, Bennet explained. The idea was created based off of a popular YouTube video created by “SoulPancake,” a popular media company.

The event was unadvertised, causing the members of the club to rely heavily upon the element of surprise, people’s curiosity and nostalgia to make the event successful.

There is no date set for the next MUST event, although the club is encouraging students to get involved. If students are interested in applying to be on the team, they should fill out an application at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MUMUST2013 by Sept. 27. The application will be followed by an interview process.

A spot on the team is a paid position through University Student Employment. Anyone is welcome to contribute to MUST. For more information contact Susan Bennett in student services.