Oct 302006
Authors: Geoff Johnson

Mike Foxman, executive council member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Along the way, he’d like to make some connections and unify the CSU campus.

Fifty campus organizations have been enlisted to help with the implementation of the event.

“We’ve invited all the cultural and religious organizations,” Foxman said.

Along with other leaders from the fraternity, Foxman is planning what is now being called a Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser.

Foxman held a meeting for interested student groups, which included a conference call with public relations officials from the Alzheimer’s Association.

He said the actual event, which will take place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, will include booths highlighting various cultural and religious holiday traditions placed throughout the Lory Student Center.

Foxman expressed hopes to bring celebrities from the Denver Broncos such as Jake Plummer and CSU alumni Cecil Sapp and Eric Pears.

Through sponsorship of booths by local and statewide businesses, the event’s organizers hope to raise funds to help Alzheimer’s research.

“We’re hoping to raise between $20,000 and $1,000,000,” said Ben Tessler, Sigma Alpha Mu’s vice president and a freshman psychology major, at the organizational meeting Monday in the LSC.

En route to helping the Alzheimer’s Association, those organizing and those involved in the event said they hope to open lines of communication.

Keith Anderson, treasurer of Sigma Alpha Mu, said the event is also about celebration without exclusion.

“It’s not a matter of political correctness,” Anderson said. “It’s about actually including people (in holiday celebrations).”

Anderson cites previous years when the LSC decorated during the holiday season, using evergreen trees associated with Christmas.

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas,” he said. “People have felt excluded by that.”

By allowing cultural and religious groups to exhibit and educate people about their beliefs and practices in a heavily trafficked area like the LSC, the group hopes to facilitate discussion.

It won’t be only religious and cultural student organizations participating in the Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser, though, Foxman said. Secular groups will act as allies. In doing so, they can “become more tolerant and further evolve as people,” Foxman said.

“It’s good for the (different) groups to talk to each other,” said Daniel Limbert, co-president of Chabad Jewish Student Alliance, a group planning to participate in the Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser.

Daniel Croll, a member of Sigma Alpha Mu and a junior studying construction management, said he’s tired of separation on the CSU campus.

“We want people to be unified,” Croll said.

Staff writer Geoff Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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