Jubilee Hall resonated with the sound of rock music on the night of Sept. 15 as Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) welcomed the return of its philanthropy event, Rock-A-Thon, after more than a three-year absence.
The event celebrated student talent as acts ranged from original and cover songs to poetry. Among the performers were students Nicole Philips, Erica Bradshaw, John Ferry, Shawn Brelvi, Keith Egan, Mike Cappelluti and Nadia Lyall. Though music was a major part of the night, the main focus was AST’s philanthropy, Dress for Success.
According to its website, Dress for Success provides attire and a support network to help women thrive in the professional world. Proceeds from Rock-A-Thon will go to the organization as they work to aid those effected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
AST’s Director of Philanthropy, Kaitlynn Bunch, explained that the sorority is rebranding itself from a philanthropy standpoint in its work with Dress for Success and the Women’s Wellness Initiative.
“Our focus is toward women’s wellness, empowering women to get a job, to go out and be present in the world,” the junior elementary special education and environmental science major said.
The initiative is divided into six sections: occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional wellness. Bunch said that Rock-a-thon and Dress for Success cover the occupational arena.
While Pine Mountain Settlement School in Michigan has been a part of AST’s philanthropy since 1899, the sisters developed new goals as they shifted their concentration to other issues, she said.
Isabella Scarantino, vice president of AST’s Organizational Development and a senior psychology major, said another element of the sorority’s rebrand is encouraging mutual support among Greek organizations. She said she hopes others will come out and support AST’s events as the sorority does for its fellow Greek organizations.
She added that Rock-a-thon was an expression of the individuality which AST celebrates.
“It’s about having fun,” Scarantino said. “People are getting up on stage and singing their own music, creating their own things and showing off their own art. We love having everybody be their best selves and I think we are showcasing it up there.”
Performers at Rock-a-thon, such as junior marketing major Mike Cappelluti, highlighted the unifying power of music and how it fit into this event.
“I think one of the most special things about music is that it can bring people together regardless of the differences that may divide them,” he said. “Any opportunity to get involved in an event such as Rock-A-Thon is always extremely worthwhile.”
Julie Trien can be reached at Julie.email@example.com.