For Immediate Release — January 28, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516


Robert Schneider: (864) 602-9305

Michael Faitell: (914) 799-1600


Brothers to sleep, eat and study in frigid outdoors while seeking donations

GENESEO, N.Y. — The subzero temperatures the Rochester region has been experiencing isn’t going to stop the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity brothers at the State University of New York at Geneseo from keeping their annual tradition of camping outside for a week in the name of charity.

The fraternity will kick off its fourth annual Deep Freeze on Cancer — a weeklong, around-the-clock campout — at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 in Sturges Quad, located between Erwin and Sturges halls. The event will go through 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4. All proceeds, raised by cash gifts, will go to the national American Cancer Society.

Some of the brothers are even looking forward to freezing for a good cause.

"I’ve looked forward to it every year," said Robert Schneider, a 21-year-old senior geography major from Delevan, N.Y.

Although the brothers pitch a tent, at night they toss Frisbee discs and play football and ice hockey to pass the time and keep warm.

"You find ways to keep busy," Schneider laughed.

About 15 of the fraternity’s 23 members are expected to participate in the event. Two brothers will take four-hour shifts at a time during the day, with four brothers on the overnight shift from 8 p.m.-8 a.m.

The Geneseo chapter of the national fraternity Alpha Chi Rho is Phi Zeta Chi and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Fraternities with national affiliations are expected to host an annual fund-raiser for charity.

The fraternity has raised an average of $1,000 a year during the Deep Freeze, but this year it increased its goal to $5,000, said Schneider. Cash donations and checks made out to the American Cancer Society will be accepted. The brothers are seeking donations from passersby — faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus — and from local merchants and businesses. In addition, they are planning a contest to see which residence hall can raise the most money. In return, the fraternity hopes to offer a pizza night with pizza donated by a local merchant.

Schneider said he knows several people on campus who have lost family members and friends to cancer and that his father recently battled testicular cancer.

"It feels very nice to do something like this and to help," he said.

Michael Faitell, a 22-year-old senior English major from Monticello, N.Y., agreed.

"We just do it for a good cause, and it helps to also combat some of the negative stereotypes associated with fraternities," he said.

Somehow, the Deep Freeze always manages to fall on one of the coldest weeks of winter, said Wendi R. Kinney, coordinator of Greek affairs and off-campus living for the college.

"I’ve been at Geneseo for four years and have watched with awe and pride at what the Alpha Chi Rho brothers are doing in the name of service and compassion. For a week each year these students brave subzero temperatures, bitter winds and snow with only a tent, sleeping bags and the occasional snowball fight or snow sculpture-building to keep them warm," said Kinney. "This event is a fine example of the type of positive impact Greek life can have on a college and community."

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