This week some brothers have slept a little closer, but it was not at home. Fraternity brother of the Nu Alpha Kappa chapter at California State University, Stanislaus have simulated homelessness on campus this week as part of their fraternity’s philanthropy. Five students spent the daytime asking for money and donations in the university quad while sleeping on cardboard and tarp at night.
In order to alert the CSU Stanislaus campus to Homelessness Awareness Week, for the past seven years the Nu Alpha Kapp fraternity has had several members publicly experience homelessness. Alfredo Casillas is a 20-year-old junior at CSU Stanislaus, who is participating in the fraternity’s event for the second time.
“From what I’ve seen, this is real. People react differently. Some say sorry, but they don’t have change, some walk by, and others notice us and bring us hot chocolate and blankets,” said Casillas.
Participating students are not allowed to have friends or family members bring them food, blankets, or electronics and can only leave the designated area of the quad for class. The cold night does tend to make what blankets they do have wet and Casillas noted that it is difficult to sleep. Fortunately, the brothers have benefited from their generous classmates who have brought them hot chocolate, bread, pizza, and additional blankets. However the participants are not only looking to raise funds for themselves. They have requested donations of clothing, canned foods, money, and particularly sleeping bags and blankets to give out to the homeless in Turlock.
“The event began Sunday night and ends Friday at noon. Upon the closing of the event, as a fraternity we will take our donations down to the local homeless shelter on Broadway and spend time there,” said Casillas. He also said that the fraternity will hold a meeting to debrief on the event and develop ways to improve in future years.
CSU Stanislaus students have been receptive to Nu Alpha Kappa’s endeavor and by Wednesday evening the fraternity had already raised hundreds of dollars.
“It’s my favorite philanthropic event to witness. It is so nice to see the guys humble themselves so much and embrace their fraternity’s philanthropy,” said CSU Stanislaus student Anna Ramos.