UVa’s chapter of the Sigma Pi Fraternity has decided to fight against discrimination and hate speech on grounds this week, asking students and community members to sign a pledge to take action.
In response to the multiple hate speech and bias-related incidents that have occurred at UVa this fall, Sigma Pi has taken a stand to prevent the proliferation of such events in the future. The fraternity launched their campaign, “Hoos Standing Up,” on Sunday, November 27.
The “Hoos Standing Up” initiative includes tabling at various locations around grounds, where Sigma Pi brothers encourage students and faculty passing by to sign their pledge. The pledge asks signers to vow to defend victims of discrimination and to report bias-related incidents with UVa’s online “Just Report It” system. All Sigma Pi brothers have signed the pledge.
Those who participate in the campaign receive a wristband that makes them eligible for discounts at participating restaurants on the Corner. Restaurants like Revolutionary Soup, College Inn, Cafe Caturra, Crozet Pizza, and Take It Away have joined with Sigma Pi this week to show their solidarity against the recent hate and bias-motivated events. Given the community’s enthusiastic response, wristband supplies have been depleted.
Second-year brother Tim Schott said that “Hoos Standing Up” is the best fall philanthropy event Sigma Pi has done in years.
“It directly impacts our school and has allowed our giving back to be focused on our specific community,” he said.
Pledging to be an active bystander takes courage. Through “Hoos Standing Up,” Sigma Pi has taken the lead in speaking out.
“Students, faculty, and the general public have been really receptive. Overall, the response has been very positive,” said Schott.
Campaign critics on the other hand, accuse the fraternity for having “politically correct” motives. Sigma Pi, according to Schott however, has no political affiliations and rather wants to help the community move forward.
Although the campaign ends today, the fraternity has sparked a trend, making the UVa community more aware of the events that have happened on grounds.
“I hope we do some sort of continuation with the initiative in the spring. Issues like these [hate and bias-related incidents] will ravage the community so we are seeking to educate and make people more aware,” said Schott.
“The best way to soften divisiveness is talking,” he said. “We are fostering a dialogue towards finding common ground.”
Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm in Clemons Library
Monday: 11:00 am – 2:00 outside of Newcomb
4:00 – 8:00 pm outside Rev Soup
Tuesday: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in Clemons Library
3:00 – 5:30 pm outside Café Caturra
Wednesday: 11:00am – 2:00 pm outside of Newcomb
5:00 – 9:00 pm outside Crozet Pizza
Thursday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm outside Take It Away
College Inn: 10% off dine in – Monday through Friday (all day)
Revolutionary Soup: 50% off soup – Monday (all day)
Café Caturra: FREE Coffee – Tuesday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Crozet Pizza: $2 Pizza Slices – Wednesday (5:00 – 9:00 pm)
Take It Away: 10% off – Thursday (all day)