Clubs Unite for “Pies for Charity”


Olivia LaBarge throws a pie in a volunteer’s face for charity. (SAMUEL MCHALE/THE OBSERVER)


On Nov. 10, when many students were still taking in the largely unexpected presidential election results, clubs united for a more entertaining change of pace: Pies for Charity.

The event, organized by the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) and the Jewish Students Organization (JSO), raised money to help Syrian refugees. It was cosponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Desi Chai, UNICEF, United Student Government (USG) and Stove’s Comedy Club.

The premise of the charity was simple: donate five dollars for the opportunity to throw a pie tin of Reddi Whip into the face of a student or faculty volunteer. The clubs raised over $1000 from the event.

Jason Morris, Ph.D., chair of the Natural Science Department and Faculty Advisor for Hillel on campus, helped organize the event.

Morris said he was inspired to put the event together after seeing a talk from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) that expanded the mission from helping Jewish refugees to settling Syrian refugees in New York.

“I thought, what a great opportunity to build community, to have the Muslim Students’ Association and the JSO cooperate for an event for HIAS to help save the refugees,” he said. Hillel bought all of the supplies for the event, according to Morris.

Morris, along with other faculty members in the Natural Sciences Department, sported plastic ponchos during the event and actively encouraged those in attendance to “pie” them.

“I thought, what would be fun for students that we could get the professors involved, and I knew it would be late in the semester when tensions are high,” he explained, “and I’ve always thought that students would enjoy being able to have this kind of fun with their professors and this seemed like a great cause.” He quipped that they couldn’t get a dunking booth. “Too cold.”

Student leaders also took part in the event, standing on the receiving end of the Reddi Whip-filled pie tins. Among them were Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17 and president of USG, Chandler Dean, FCLC ’17 and president of Stove’s Comedy Club, and Muhammad Burnay, GSBLC ’19 and president of MSA.

“I’m really glad that all of our clubs came together for this,” Burnay said. “Who doesn’t want to pie the presidents of their clubs?”

Regarding organizing and taking part in the event, Morris said that “It’s such a privilege to be able to work in a community that’s so passionate about this conversation and this kind of social justice issues.”

“If we can encourage American doors to stay open, to take people in, I think that’s the greatest thing about this country and as a patriotic citizen I want to help that,” he said. “In terms of community building here, I think the idea of so many clubs, people of different religions, ethnicities, national backgrounds, passions, they were all able to come together on an important issue like this.”