Sororities battle in Pi Kappa Phi’s War of the Roses

Men from Baylor’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi participated in their 36-hour Bike-A-Thon competition at Fountain Mall as a way to start their philanthropy week, which raises money for their national philanthropy, The Ability Experience. Members biked from Monday to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. | Josh Aguirre | Multimedia Editor

By Madalyn Watson | Staff Writer

Friday, the final battle of this year’s War of the Roses will be a sorority flag football tournament in the McLane Stadium from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The men of Baylor’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapp) are raising funds for their national philanthropy, The Ability Experience, through their friendly competition between Panhellenic sororities.

Throughout this week, the 10 Panhellenic sororities, now including the newest addition Alpha Phi, compete in several separate competitions, including a competition for likes on Pi Kappa Phi’s Instagram account.

San Diego, Calif., sophomore Trevor White, the philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Phi, said one of the most popular parts of their philanthropy week are the Penny Wars.

“Each sorority has a bucket and if you put change in your own bucket, that’s how you gain points. But other sororities can put dollar bills in your bucket and it will decrease the points,” White said.

Castro Valley, Calif, senior Donato Catrina, the president of Pi Kapp, said the sorority with the most points wins War of the Roses 2019.

“At the end of the week, whoever has the most points, first place gets a$1000 for their philanthropy, and then we’ll make them letters,” Catrina said.

The sororities that place in second will receive $500 and third will receive $250 for their philanthropy.

“What we’re doing this year, the first-place sorority will pick a girl from their chapter to be our Rose Queen in our next composite, so they’ll be in our next composite and they’ll have a special fleece,” White said.

War of the Roses benefits The Ability Experience as well as the winning sorority’s philanthropy.

“The Ability Experience goes towards people with intellectual and physical disabilities,” White said.

Founded in 1977 as Pi Kappa Phi’s national philanthropic initiative, The Ability Experience aims to change the perceptions of people with disabilities as well as fraternities, according to their website.

“We put in time and effort and love, but we also get that in return. Because you think that we’re just helping them out with stuff, but in the end we grow as people,” White said.

Members of Pi Kapp kicked off their philanthropic week of friendly competition with a constant rotation of their members biking non-stop on Fountain Mall from 8 a.m. on Monday to 8 p.m. on Tuesday,

“We had to get donations of the bicycles we use so we used Bear Mountain. They donate three bicycles and then also the part that makes it stationary,” White said.

Pi Kapp’s annual 36-hour Bike-A-Thon is inspired by Journey of Hope, where teams of Pi Kapps from all around the country engage in a cross-country biking trek, starting in a few different locations but all ending together in Washington, D.C.

“There’s also these things called Ability Camps, where we can send members, and for the weekend they will help build handicap accessible buildings or they’ll help coach some sort of sporting event,” Catrina said.

During the Bike-A-Thon, members of the Heart of Texas Chargers Special Olympics team participated in the festivities alongside Pi Kapp.

“Our local philanthropy is the Heart of Texas Chargers Special Olympics team and we’re also partnering now with the Waco American Cancer Society,” Catrina said.

Catrina said his fraternity regularly works and he even helped coach during football season.

“My favorite part [of working with our philanthropies] is our local philanthropy with the Special Olympics because that’s how I found Pi Kappa Phi,” White said.

White volunteered with the Texas Special Olympics, where he met a member of Pi Kappa Phi who encouraged him to rush the fraternity.

“A lot of times with philanthropies, people get lost in the numbers, like just raising as much money as [they] can,” Catrina said, “What we do throughout the year is more of what counts and, to us, has more of an impact.”

Catrina and White both said working with the Special Olympics created strong friendships for them and their fraternity brothers. The fraternity is even invited to two of the team members’ upcoming wedding.

Other fund-raisers occurred throughout the week such as the Car Smash, where students could pay $1 to hit a car in the middle of Fountain Mall with a sledgehammer on Wednesday, and Field Day on Thursday, where sororities competed in challenges in the Mars McLean Gym.

People can donate on The Ability Experience website.

To donate to help support The Ability Experience and Baylor’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, click here.