Classic Signals: College rallies for cancer cause

By Elise Schoening
Features Editor

Every week, Features Editor Elise Schoening hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

The College was painted pink this week as Zeta Tau Alpha sorority held its annual breast cancer awareness week. To raise funds for a cure, the sorority sold T-shirts, smoothies and cupcakes. However, past efforts to stomp out cancer have been less traditional. In 2009, Alpha Epsilon Phi fraternity commissioned a used car and held a “Destroy a Car Fundrasier” on campus. Students who donated a dollar to fund children’s cancer research were given armed with a sledge hammer and given free rein over the car. The event brought in over $600.

In the late morning hours of Nov. 5, booming echoes could be heard throughout campus. Unaware of their source, one might have mistaken them for construction static. However, it was the sound a sledgehammer makes when slammed against a car. Alpha Epsilon Phi patrolled the sidewalks nearby, encouraging students to trade money for a chance to take a swing at a dilapidated vehicle.

Every dent and nick made by participants represented a dollar donated to Chai Lifeline — a charity that finances children’s cancer research.

The “Destroy a Car Fundraiser” (DCF) concept was originally conceived by past Alpha Epsilon Phi members. Success following the first DCF inspired other chapters to replicate the idea. The College’s Alpha Epsilon Phi wanted to organize the event for quite some time.

Much planning was necessary. Hawk’s Towing in Trenton provided a junkyard car, as well as free towing services. Permits were required in order to allow the car on school grounds. Most importantly, safety provisions such as gloves, caution tape and goggles needed to be secured.

The scene itself maintained an air of slap-stick aggression. Crowds quickly accumulated around the site, cheering when a partaker hit the mark or catcalling when a weak attempt failed to do damage. The act of tearing something down in order to build up a higher cause appealed to many.

“College is a very stressful time, especially since it is midterm season,” said senior philosophy major Ryan Gerber. “It could be considered a stress-reliever. Also, destructive behavior is prevalent everywhere — movies, TV. Consequently, everyone always has these thoughts in the back of their mind. Often times, we wonder, ‘Wow, what would it be like to hit a car with a big hammer?’”

Most people’s curiosity has now been vanquished.