Tay Delta Phi Mental Health
Club & Greek

Tau Delta Phi Spreads Mental Health Awareness with “Pelt a Tau Delt”

The Delta Tau chapter of Tau Delta Phi Fraternity at Monmouth University raised $44 and spread mental health awareness for the benefit of their philanthropy organization Active Minds on Friday, Oct. 20 across from the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on campus.

Members of the fraternity set up a table along the walkway across from the Student Center from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. and invited those passing by to donate money to their philanthropy organization Active Minds in exchange for water balloons to throw at shirtless Tau Delta Phi brothers who were at the side of the table waiting to be hit. The event “Pelt a Tau Delt” gave participants the choice of donating one dollar in exchange for one water balloon or three dollars in exchange for five balloons.

“The brothers’ positive energy and inviting idea made me want to come to the table,” said junior Megan McClintock, who participated in the event. “They placed themselves in a highly-trafficked area and did a great job of making conversation with people who were walking by.”

According to its official website, Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses nationwide.

“When Active Minds first connected with Tau Delta Phi in 2013, I was so impressed by the fraternity’s commitment to its members and to the campuses where it had chapters,” said Alison Malmon, the Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds. “It’s been a tremendous partnership ever since. Active Minds has both gotten the opportunity to spread our message of ‘you are enough’ to more students and has also benefitted enormously from the money fundraised on our behalf,” she said.

Malmon said that each student who is a part of the organization costs them about $150. Each of those students reach at least five students around them, meaning that Tau Delta Phi’s donation of the money raised from “Pelt a Tau Delt” will help Active Minds reach almost one new person this year.

Austin Fleischer, Philanthropy Chair of the Delta Tau chapter of Tau Delta Phi, said, “We (Tau Delta Phi) take mental illness very seriously. Every brother is a registered member of the Monmouth University Active Minds chapter.” Fleischer said that almost every event on campus hosted by Tau Delta Phi throughout the school year is co-sponsored by Active Minds. “Pelt a Tau Delt” specifically is conducted once every semester, typically during the warmer weeks. Fleischer said that it is a good stress reliever for participants, which promotes mental health.

“‘Pelt a Tau Delt’ is an event that our brothers really look forward to,” said Billy Crank, a senior communication major and member of Tau Delta Phi. Crank said that the idea behind the event has always been to simply raise money for a good cause and to have a great time doing it. 

Musashi Nagai, a senior and brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said that the interactivity of “Pelt a Tau Delt” was a welcome change in philanthropy events run by Greek organizations. “It’s definitely different from the bake sales or ribbon sales you see with other organizations. People around campus can be bored if they see the same thing over and over again, so it’s refreshing to see something different,” he said. “It’s very easy to ignore tables that are trying to raise money. If people see hands-on activities there’s more likely of a chance it will catch their eye.”

Alyssa Dellevecchia, a junior and sister of Alpha Xi Delta, said that it is important for Greeks of all organizations to come together in their philanthropic efforts. “I think that as a Greek community we contribute a lot of time and effort into each of our philanthropies. We also try our best to help support and contribute to other organizations and their philanthropies by stopping by their tabling events and Greek events,” she said.

Michele Kaplan, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said that the fact that “Pelt a Tau Delt” is an outdoor event that is conducted during the day-time allows Tau Delta Phi to connect with various individuals throughout the student body.

“All of our organizations have values that we are expected to live daily, and one is giving back to the community through both community service and raising awareness for philanthropic causes,” she said. “I enjoy that our groups try to be creative with ways to raise money for these causes; however, it is also important to remember that we need to let our audience know the philanthropic causes these events are for,” she said.

“I think it’s so creative,” Malmon, who was in full support of Tau Delta Phi’s fundraising method, said. “While mental health can be seen as a ‘down’ topic, fundraisers like ‘Pelt a Tau Delt’ are innovative, meet students where they are, help bring mental health into a more relaxed and fun environment, and are successful money makers. What more could you ask for?”

PHOTO TAKEN by Evan McMurtrie