Fraternity collects relief funds

By Linda Luk

Phi Beta Sigma is making its efforts felt on campus.

The fraternity has teamed with the Black Alumni Council to aid relief efforts in Mombasa, Kenya.

“The President (of Black Alumni Council) Michael Pattrick was a member and attended NIU,” said Nicholas Williams, president of Phi Beta Sigma. “He and four brothers went to Africa and saw Mombasa was very poverty-stricken. We join in the efforts and try to help as much as we can.”

Black Alumni Council members have started a non-profit organization called the Mombasa Relief Initiative, which travels to bring medical supplies, educational materials and clothing to the people of Mombasa, said Pattrick, an NIU and Phi Beta Sigma alumnus.

Some of the council members also are members of the fraternity and agree to host drives for food and clothes on campus.

“We are going to start now, and we love to express and let the NIU campus know what we are doing,” Williams said.

Starting this week, Phi Beta Sigma will have boxes in residence halls and will travel around Greek Row asking for non-perishable food items and monetary donations.

“Our goal is to raise $500 from NIU,” Williams said. “We just ask for support. You are going to see us out there. We hope to see support in donations of clothes, non-perishable food and monetary donations. NIU is pretty good about support, and we are pretty sure we’ll get a lot.”

The donations collected here will be given to the Black Alumni Council who will send the supplies to Mombasa, said Anthony Thompson, Phi Beta Sigma vice president.

“We want to broaden the scope of students here,” Williams said. “We can be powerful here, and we try to set a foundation that we can go outside of the United States.”

The Black Alumni Council offers scholarships here in spring and offers mentoring and internship opportunities. There are more than 5,000 NIU graduates in the council and the majority of them are in the Chicago area.