When the tragic wildfires in Northern California struck, the members of the Epsilon-Iota colony at the University of Nevada- Reno asked just one question: how can we help?

A large population of the Reno students come from Northern California, so the call to action and severity of the situation was not lost on the men of Lambda Chi. Within just one week, standards chairman Evan Hulbert conceived an idea to aid in the relief efforts, and High Theta Yoni Covarrubias arranged the fundraiser.

With just over 100 dollars worth of donuts and coffee in hand, the members began tabling in the heart of campus. The idea was to reward students with treats for their contribution to the relief efforts, but the men soon found that the cause hit very close to home for students. In many instances, students were happy just to do their part without the reward.

“A lot of students were very happy to see us doing this,” said Cyrus Ghaffari, High Alpha. “The response was very positive; there was certainly an emotional connection that everyone had to the fires.”

The men of the colony raised over 750 dollars in total from their fundraising efforts, benefitting the California Fire Foundation.

The Epsilon-Iota colony hosting their Watermelon Bust service event. Photo courtesy of Cyrus Ghaffari.

“We have this whole group of guys who are in it for the right reasons, because we had a lot of excitement from our members about wanting to participate in this event,” said Ghaffari. “Some of our members were really hounding people to donate, which was awesome.”

Ghaffari says that he hopes to continue a focus on service and philanthropy across campus, something that he wants the colony to be known for.

“During my term, I really want to emphasize our community involvement and philanthropy aspects just a little bit more,” stated Ghaffari. “This was my first taste of doing something like this, so just seeing how successfully it went kind of reinforces my eagerness to do these types of things.”

This is just the start to the impact Ghaffari wishes to make on campus. In addition to plans to volunteer at local soup kitchens around the holiday season, the men have plans to focus on raising awareness for sexual assault and harassment on campus. It is Ghaffari’s goal to not only educate his own brothers, but spread that education across campus about such topics of consent and substance abuse.

Ghaffari says there is only excitement in the colony for the new semester. When everyone is invested, he assures, there is no limit to the difference one group can make in their community.

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