by Anna Bratulic
It was a cold day, with big droplets of rain pelting face and hands, but the "brothers" of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity slept outside for a night to raise awareness about homelessness in Montreal.
The ninth annual Teke in a Box, held March 29 and 30 outside the Henry F. Hall Building, raised more than $4,000 in change for Dans La Rue, Father Emmett Johns' outreach to street kids.
"I brought a sleeping bag and an extra blanket," said Sean Henry, president of the fraternity and second-year Journalism student, "but it's still cold. You still feel the wind."
The members of TKE stand on the corner of Mackay and de Maisonneuve streets for 36 hours, jingling coin-filled containers, shouting, teasing passersby, including a steady flow of Concordia students and staff, to give money.
The roof of their makeshift shelter, mostly cardboard, looked like it was going to cave in at any moment. Eight brothers slept outside this year, including Henry.
"In the first year, I didn't [sleep outside]," he said "In the second year, I had every intention, but I went home for a 15-minute nap, which wound up lasting nine hours. This year I did it! I was cold and hungry, but I survived."
A man in a car pulled up to one of the TKE brothers, handed him an envelope, and drove away. Inside the envelope was $800 in old dollar bills.
"He must have heard us on the radio. Thank you, whoever you are," said Henry, in a TV interview with Concordia journalism students. Teke in a Box has turned into quite a little media event. This year, CHOM and Global television came by.
There are currently five active Greek-letter organizations at Concordia: two sororities (Delta Phi Epsilon and Zeta Tau Omega) and three fraternities (TKE, Brotherhood of Omicron and Mu Omicron Zeta). All are involved in charity work.
For example, the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority (founded in 1917 by five women at New York University Law School; the Concordia chapter opened in 1994) raises money for both the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
The Zeta Tau Omega sorority, founded in 1968, raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society and holds an annual Skate-a-thon for local charities. The most recent one was on March 4 at the Amphitheatre Bell.
Members of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity on March 29-30, as they persuaded passersby to shell out for Dans la Rue. Left to right are Derek Lauder, Alberto Villasenor, Dylan Flanagan and Sean Henry.
Copyright 2000 Concordia's Thursday Report.