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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Campus organizations rally to help Haiti relief initiative

Published: February 12, 2010
Section: News

B’Deis Records, a Brandeis independent record company, hosted a benefit concert for Haiti this Friday which coincided with a special charity Shabbat dinner. Then, on Saturday, an off-campus Greek mixer between the Zeta Beta Tou (ZBT) and Phi Psi fraternities also raised money for the cause. Together, the three events collected more than $3,300.

“I think it was a great success,” the president of ZBT, Tom Coughlin ’12, said about the mixer. “We raised $2,000. It was also great for us because we got to work with another house, Phi Psi. It’s great that we got to come together to work for a cause.”

These are just some of the events the Brandeis Haiti Initiative has recently coordinated in conjunction with other members of the Brandeis community. For the past two weeks, the Brandeis Haiti Initiative and the lacrosse team collaborated to sell make-your-own Valentines in the Shapiro atrium. All month, Karene Schloss ’13 has led an effort to dormstorm the campus quads to collect pocket change for the cause. Brandeis has raised $8,000 all together so far.

“We will help [Haiti] financially and we will help the Brandeis community by educating them,” said Nate Rosenblum ’10, who has mobilized to coordinate the effort.

Hosting three on-campus educational events is a major goal of the Brandeis effort. Other objectives for the semester include raising $25,000 and effectively organizing the multitude of fundraisers happening on campus.

Other benefits include a Haitian Culture night on March 3, ice skating on March 4, and a black tie event on May 1. Proceeds from Pachanga, the dance hosted by the International Club every semester, will also go to Haiti.

“We are committed to making this not only something we’re doing for the semester, but in the long-term. I’m really excited about doing educational events and celebrating the culture of Haiti,” Shaina Gilbert ’10, a leader of the campus effort, said.

The money will be donated to three organizations: Partners in Health, Hope for Haiti and the ETE Camp. These associations, specifically, were chosen because they have made Haiti a lasting commitment. “They were in Haiti before, and will stay there long-term,” Rosenblum said.

The ETE Camp was actually founded by Gilbert and her family. Last summer Gilbert ran the camp with a group of Brandeis students. It focuses on education and leadership skills to empower Haitian children.

“I’m really excited to stretch ourselves not only with the camp, but also to work with the community,” Gilbert said.

“It really is cool how the campus is getting together for one unified cause,” she added, “I appreciate the community’s effort.”