Members of Georgia Southwestern State University's Interfraternity Council (IFC) recently collected over $1,250 worth of items for the Canes Harvest Food Pantry. Members of Sigma Chi, Kappa Sigma and Chi Phi gathered most of the donations from fellow students, who donated "flex cash" from their meal plans to the food drive. The idea for the project was the brainchild of Georgia Rotary Student Wilhelm Kielland of Norway who is attending GSW in Americus, GA. Kielland discovered that flex cash not used by the end of the term did not carry over, but instead, reset with each new semester. Many students have unused flex dollars on their cards and instead of losing it at the end of the semester, they had the opportunity to “donate” what was left to assist students who were less fortunate.
Once Kielland developed the idea, he sought advice and approval from faculty and administrators. The result became a collaborative effort of the IFC fraternities on campus and not only served to fulfill an ongoing need on campus, but also improved the relationship between the fraternities. Wilhelm (a Sigma Chi) and fellow GRSP Martin Bech of Denmark (a Kappa Sigma) determined to build better friendships between the fraternities and mend the relationships damaged in early fall. This joint event brought the fraternities together and got positive feedback from the students and campus leaders as well.
IFC members used the donated flex funds from students as well as faculty and staff to purchase non-perishable items from the Provisions On Demand (P.O.D.) convenience store on campus. Thanks to cooperation from Aramark Food Services (overseers of the P.O.D. market), the IFC purchased items at a reduced price for the drive.The Food Pantry, located on the third floor of the GSW Student Success Center, is open to all GSW students.
Items bought with the flex cash are pictured with representatives of the fraternities who sponsored the event. Also pictured are GRSP students Wilhelm Kielland (left) of Norway and Martin Bech (right) of Denmark. Wil is sponsored by the Albany, Dougherty and Blakely Rotary Clubs and Martin is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Americus.