By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Elizabeth Elkin

After a member of Kappa Alpha Theta committed suicide last year, sorority members decided they wanted to do more with their homecoming money than just pomp.

The sorority donated the $2,000 it would have spent pomping to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Their goal is to raise money and increase awareness to help people like Megan Rondini, who they lost to suicide.

“It raises awareness for everyone that’s impacted by suicide across this campus, across this state and just all across the country,” said Elizabeth Aune, who was best friends with Rondini.

She said this awareness is important to help others who may be going through what her friend went through.

“She was my best friend,” Aune said. “She was one of the funniest people I knew. She could always make me laugh, like, when nobody else could. She was just a really amazing and caring person.”

Kappa Alpha Theta used only materials they already had to maximize the amount they could donate. The sorority’s pomp chair, Hannah Sonstegard, said they wanted to make this year’s homecoming represent what greek life was really about.

“In the end, tissue paper is great, but why not use that to get the message out about something that needs it?” she said.

Sonstegard said prevention is especially important for a campus that has been so heavily impacted by death and suicide.

“It’s just very difficult for a lot of people to talk about it, but I think being so open about it will allow the dialogue to continue and, like I said, really orient homecoming back to what it should be about, which is service and really uniting each other,” she said.

Aune said that while pomping is a rich tradition on campus, at the end of the day, it’s only temporary. She said this makes an impact.

“We spend thousands of dollars on these pomps, and they’re just these really cool, really big drawings of stuff, and if it rains tomorrow it’s gone, so even if it rains tomorrow and our little goal sign is gone, the money is still there and can be used,” she said.

Their original goal was to raise $5,000. They’ve now raised over $14,000. Members hope that next year, other organizations will join with them in supporting a cause.

Categories: Archives, Local News