Every 15 seconds a woman is physically assaulted in her home. Ten percent of women are raped by boyfriends or ex-boyfriends. Eleven percent of women are raped by their father or stepfather. To top off these shocking statistics, most incidents of domestic and relationship violence are not reported, according to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
On Saturday, these figures were displayed on plates hung from trees as the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega held their 13th annual Frisbee Fest tournament on the Quad. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about domestic and relationship violence, and proceeds go to the Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven. The event was held in memory of AXO sister Elizabeth Pernell, who died in a domestic violence dispute in 1998.
“Awareness about domestic and relationship violence is necessary, especially for college-aged women because love shouldn’t hurt; yet the rise in relationship violence at campuses is an alarming trend,” AXO Philanthropy Chair Bradee Luhr said.
Members of other Greek organizations came out to support the cause, although the event wasn’t exclusive to Greeks. Non-Greek organizations including the Anime Club, Physical Therapy Club and varsity athletes participated in the event that more than 500 people attended.
More than an athletic tournament, the event included activities such as cornhole, spin art Frisbees, cotton candy, snow cones and raffles. Raffle prizes included box seat tickets to a New York Giants game, Boston Celtics tickets, an autographed New York Jets football and a parking spot in the College of Arts and Sciences lot or Hilltop. AXO served refreshments including buffet options and a barbecue station. For a dollar, attendees could pie an Alpha Chi member in the face.
“Today is not a day to worry about looking pretty, but to reflect on domestic violence,” senior AXO member Staci Sherman said. “Alpha Chis are team players!”
“Aside from Frisbee Fest being awesome and decked out with the works, we came out today less because of the competitive aspect and more to support Greek life,” senior Delta Tau Delta member Pete Quigley said. “Particularly important to us was the cause of opposing relationship and domestic violence. Abusing women is incompatible with being a gentleman, one of Delt’s core values.”
Senior Christen Samuels, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta’s “Kites in Flight” team, agreed.
“As a criminal justice major, I find protection of women an issue which needs to be more prioritized, given how few women report their attackers, even on campus,” Samuels said.
For some, the cause hit close to home.
“I’ve been close with someone who experienced domestic violence in her life. As I play with a Frisbee in hand, I hold her experience in my heart,” senior PT Club member Julia Bean said. “Not a single soul more should be forced to experience such terror.”
In the end, the Sigma Phi Epsilon team won the tournament and gift certificates to Drougie’s Pizza.
“Today’s event is one of many Greek life events that exemplifies that Greeks, regardless of chapter affiliation, are a force for positive change,” said Courtney McKenna, assistant director of the student center and campus life. “Frisbee Fest brings awareness to the issue of domestic and relationship violence, something which can affect the entire Quinnipiac University community. As QU Greek Advisor and an Alpha Chi Omega alum, I can say that the Iota Phi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega has done an amazing job representing the organization and Greek life as a whole.”
AXO expects to exceed last year’s earnings of more than $16,000 from this year’s Fest.
Photo credit: Matt Eisenberg