Greek students overcame blindness, autism, spinal cord injuries, amputation and other physical disabilities at dinner Tuesday night.
Pi Kappa Phi hosted an "empathy dinner" Tuesday to raise awareness for those living with disabilities. Participants were blindfolded, duct taped and in wheelchairs while they ate dinner with their temporary disability, a small peek into a challenging life.
Sophomore forestry major Drew Stroberg is the philanthropy chair for Pi Kappa Phi and said this is the second semester in a row the fraternity has put on the dinner.
"It is an awareness event," Stroberg said. "We want people to know what it's like (to have a disability), so they understand it's not easy to go through daily life with disabilities. We want them to understand how fortunate we are."
The goal of the dinner was to raise awareness and teach people to look beyond the disability and begin to recognize abilities.
Christie Hofmockel, a junior human development and family studies major and member of Delta Delta Delta, was blindfolded at the dinner.
"It was really hard to get my food," Hofmockel said. "It makes you appreciate what you have."
The dinner was the first event in a weeklong "No Boundaries Week" that the fraternity puts on every spring. Each Pi Kappa Phi chapter in the nation recognizes this week to raise awareness for people living with disabilities.
Each year, associate members (those looking to pledge Pi Kappa Phi) take a day and attend all of their classes in a wheelchair, said Sean Pfeiffer, Pi Kappa Phi special events coordinator and assistant vice president of public relations for the Interfraternity Council.
Pfeiffer, a junior speech communication major, participated as an associate member and said it was an interesting experience. He found that CSU is not always handicap-accessible. He said doorways were not always wide enough and automated doors did not always work.
"We are so used to using our legs and not our arms to get around campus," Pfeiffer said. "It was straining on my wrists and arms. I was tired after attending two classes. It was a struggle."
Push America, founded in 1977, is an organization set up by Pi Kappa Phi, to serve people with disabilities. The organizations host events throughout the year to promote fundraising, awareness and volunteerism.
During the summer, chapters from across the country join together in a "Journey of Hope"- a 4,000-mile, 64-day cycling trip from San Francisco to Washington D.C to raise money and awareness for Pi Kappa Phi's cause to serve people with disabilities.
Last year, the trip raised $400,000, Pfeiffer said.
This year the event that will take place June 12 through Aug. 13.