IU’s Sigma Pi postponed its philanthropy from April 14 to April 22 because several members of the chapter have a contagious virus.
Chapter members started showing signs of illness last week, Sigma Pi member Michael Broodo said.
Senior Scott Olofson said he was unsure how the virus got around but suspects Little 500 activities from the weekend came into play.
Although Broodo, a junior who’s living in Washington, D.C. for the semester but visited IU for the weekend, said he was unsure how many in the house have the virus, the chapter postponed the event so it will not spread across campus.
The philanthropy, called Tex’s BBQ, subsidizes counseling costs for students at IU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. It also raises money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and IU’s Sexual Assault Crisis Service in honor of their late fraternity brother, Nic “Tex” Smith.
Smith took his own life in January 2017 after he went home for winter break.
“It really shook our house,” Broodo said. “He was the most happy-go-lucky person. He brightened up every room.”
Before Smith died, several of his friends had also taken their own lives in recent years. His Sigma Pi brothers thought he was coping, Broodo said, but he was not.
When the brothers learned of Smith’s death, Broodo said they were determined to encourage others struggling with mental health to use counseling services, especially if they felt uncomfortable confiding in family members or friends.
That year, in addition to the philanthropy, Sigma Pi started a campaign to fight against the stigma of seeking counseling.
Olofson said the fraternity brothers want to give back to the IU community.
“No matter how much money we raise, no matter how many people go, if we can save one life, then it’s totally worth it,” he said.
The event, which had more than $7,000 in donations as of Monday, will now be 4-8 p.m. April 22 at 1430 N. Jordan Ave.