Dance for The Ability Experience

Sarah Harris

A carnival of dance, music and Bobcats; it’s an event like no other, and it’s for a good cause. Pi Kappa Phi is holding its first ever Electric Ability Carnival (EAC) on Thursday, Oct. 16. EAC is a philanthropy event taking place at Oakdale Theatre, something no other Quinnipiac fraternity or sorority has done before.

Raised money goes to The Ability Experience, previously known as Push America. Pi Kappa Phi usually hosts “Pedals for Push”, an event where students would cycle on stationary bikes for consecutive hours, but wanted to hold a more unique event.

Pi Kappa Phi owns The Ability Experience, which is run by Pi Kappa Phi chapters all around the country. It raises money and awareness for people with disabilities; the organizatio is for kids and adults, and the money goes to camps and programs that help disabled people.

“I’m all about thinking outside the box and doing something no one else has done before,” Mark Boulas, the philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Phi said.

Mixing a philanthropy event with students who may consume alcohol before the carnival is a worry that the fraternity does have, and they are trying to take the right precautions.

“That was our biggest fear, that people would associate the event with the alcohol,” Boulas said. “We, as an e-board and chapter, have been taking a lot of precautions to stray away from that.”

Rob Ciambra, junior, is not sure if he will go.

“I’m not an EDM person but it depends on who else goes,” Ciambra said. “I would donate regardless. The fact that they got Oakdale is pretty cool. But it’s an EDM show; you don’t go to those sober.”

Courtney McKenna, the Director of Fraternity and Sorority life, says students will be asked to leave or refused entrance if they are visibly intoxicated.

“My big thing with this is that I don’t want people to put a stigma with our event,” Boulas said. “I don’t want people thinking ‘oh, it’s like Barstool’. That’s not what it is. Our biggest goal is still to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities.”

Every ticket that is bought has a slip of paper with the details of the event and information about the philanthropy.

Sophomore Chelsey Tahan is not associated with Greek life on campus, and said students may go to the event without thinking about what it means for The Ability Experience.

“Anything that helps philanthropy is a good thing,” Tahan said. “But you’re contributing to something without knowing what it’s about. People aren’t necessarily going because they are helping the cause but rather to get drunk and have a good time.”

The fraternity is currently selling tickets for $15 in the Student Center and all Pi Kappa Phi members are carrying tickets. Ten dollars will go directly to The Ability Experience and $5 will go to help fund next year’s event. Shuttles will transport students from campus to the theatre. There will not be tickets sold at the door, and 1,800 people will be allowed in Oakdale Theatre.

The original idea for the location of the event was Toad’s Place, but Boulas decided to move it to Oakdale. He didn’t want people to associate the event with a night out at Toad’s but wanted something more unique than Burt Kahn Court.

Natalie Krohn, the director of special events at Oakdale Theatre, is excited to have the fraternity hold their event at the venue.

“We have worked with Quinnipiac before and are excited to have another event hosted here,” Krohn said.

There will be one DJ for the entire night, DJzehti, more well known as Joe Zehentner, a senior and member of Pi Kappa Phi.

Boulas has no doubt that the event will be a success and hopes students have a safe and fun time for a great cause.

“It’s high risk, high reward,” Boulas said. “With anything out of the box and anything unique and anything new, there’s going to be risks with it and this is one of the risks that we think we can handle.”