Lip-syncing contest to raise funds for abuse center

By Reubin Turner

Staff Writer

Break the silence by not saying anything at all.

At least, while you’re on stage.

The university chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and the department of multicultural affairs will host a lip-syncing contest titled “Break the Silence.” The event will take place at 7 p.m. today in the Bill Daniel Student Center bowl. The event was created in order to raise money for the Waco Family Abuse Center, an organization designed to eliminate domestic violence in McLennan County and surrounding areas. Although there is no charge for admission, donations are welcome.

Ida Jamshidi, adviser for the sorority, said in accordance with the Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropic efforts, the sorority has chosen domestic violence as its cause. She also said the name for this event, along with the idea of lip-syncing, stemmed from the notion that many women who are abused rarely speak against their own abuse because of fear.

Jamshadi said the sorority started planning for the event in February and has already raised more than $11,000 for the cause, obtaining donations from sorority family members and the Waco community. Jamshidi said she is proud of the way they have reached out and worked hard for such a great cause. In addition to raising funds for the Waco Family Abuse Center, the sorority has also teamed with the department of multicultural affairs in an effort to increase cooperation between the Pan-Hellenic Council and other Greek organizations.

Jena Sepich, vice president of philanthropy for the sorority, said eight student organizations, including Alpha Chi Omega, will perform at the lip-syncing event. She also said acts will consist of organizations from both the Pan-Hellenic Council and those within Greek life.

After the groups have finished performing, the judges will determine the winner, who will receive $500 for the charity of their choice. The audience will also have the opportunity to determine a winner by text. The winner of this vote will receive $200, also for the charity of their choice. Diverse Verses, a university club designed to promote the arts in poetry, is one of the student organizations performing. The acts will include works from members such as Killeen senior Dayna Richardson, who put together poems specifically for the event. The poems they have written are designed to increase awareness for domestic violence.

Sepich said the engagement will also feature other acts and speakers to discuss family abuse. An agent from the Waco Family Abuse Center will speak to the audience about the people they serve and the issue of domestic violence as it pertains to the Waco community. The on-campus sexual assault team will also speak about the prevalence of domestic violence as it relates to the university. Sepich also said a sorority member will share her personal experience with domestic violence. After the event, various organizations including the Waco Family Abuse Center will have tables set up with more information concerning domestic violence and ways to get help. Free pizza will be provided, and the Baylor Dining Services will provide cookies and hot chocolate to the attendees.