Their campout may not have taken them far from home, but the message that accompanies Pi Kappa Phi’s scaffold sit will travel across the Northwestern State University campus. Members of the fraternity took turns perched atop a construction scaffold in front of the chapter house from September 24-25, 2012.
The rigging is meant to draw attention to their effort, aiming to deconstruct the emphasis on a person’s disability, rather shift the focus to their abilities. Students and community members passing by or asking questions were encouraged to begin using “people-first” language that recognizes a person is not defined by a disability.
Beta Omicron Chapter also used the scaffold sit as a fundraising effort for the Fraternity’s philanthropy, Push America. A “penny wars” competition among sororities raised more than $150 for the cause.
Each year NSU members raise thousands of dollars to fund projects that impact and enhance the lives of those with disabilities.
Vice President Sean Austin helped organize the event and is training and fundraising to participate in Push America’s cross-country bicycle ride, The Journey of Hope. He said an experience this summer inspired him to take part in the trek on behalf of people with disabilities. “On a friendship visit in South Carolina, I spent time with a little boy named Nash, who has autism. Learning to connect and communicate with him was an eye-opening experience.” Austin said the bowling trip propelled his desire to serve others.