Local elementary school students will benefit from a school supply drive that the University of Tennessee freshman honors fraternity Phi Eta Sigma is holding at various locations on campus.
The drive, which ends Friday, will benefit Dogwood Elementary School, an underprivileged school located off of Chapman Highway.
All school supplies are accepted, especially paper, pens, pencils, markers and rulers. There are drop boxes located in the University Center Bookstore and Career Services in Dunford Hall, as well as the lobbies of several residence halls including Greve, Massey, Morrill, Humes, North Carrick, Hess and the Apartment Residence Hall.
Financial donations are also accepted, but should be dropped off at the reception desk of Career Services in Dunford Hall.
Phi Eta Sigma, composed of freshmen who have earned a 3.5 GPA after their first semester, regularly engages in multiple service projects.
The fraternity’s advisor and assistant director of Career Services, Mary Mahoney, explained why the organization chose to conduct a school supply drive for one of their service projects.
“We thought it would be nice to help a local school,” she said.
Holly Buchanan, a junior in journalism and electronic media who is also Phi Eta Sigma’s historian and a member of the supply drive committee, said the committee began planning the drive on Feb. 5.
“We want to have enough to present to Dogwood to really help them out. Ultimately, we would really want to be able to give supplies to every student,” Buchanan said.
She said she is pleased to be part of the society.
“It’s a huge honor just to be invited to an honors society, but then I realized it’s great to give back to the UT community and the city community in general,” she said. “This is an easy way that students can give back to the community. If you just pick up some extra pens and paper, that will really help the kids out a lot.”
Currently, Phi Eta Sigma consists of 100 to 200 active members, of which 40 to 50 are freshman. The UT chapter was founded May 17, 1930. Nationally, the organization has more than 900,000 members.
Phi Eta Sigma was originally founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois. Today, the honors fraternity provides members with chances to engage in leadership and service roles.
The society also offers many annual scholarship opportunities. Some of the scholarships are held within national graduate and undergraduate programs. One large annual award given is a $10,000 Scholar Leader of the Year Award.
There is also an annual Phi Eta Sigma National Convention and Leadership Workshops conference. The general purpose of the organization is to inspire, encourage and maintain academic excellence for students throughout their college career.
More information about the UT Chapter of Phi Eta Sigma can be found at http://web.utk.edu/~phieta.