Pi Kappa Phi unboxes hand sanitizer philanthropy

By Ava Dunwoody, Baylor Lariat

Baylor Pi Kappa Phi unloads 21,000 bottles of hand sanitizer they received from Baylor Scott and White at the East Village Parking Garage Thursday afternoon. They will distribute them to greek life first and then every residence hall on campus. Brittney Matthews | Photo Editor

Baylor Pi Kappa Phi spent the evening of Thursday unloading 21,000 bottles of hand sanitizer donated to the university by Baylor Scott & White in the East Village Parking Garage. These bottles will be distributed around campus within the next week.

Pi Kappa Phi Adviser Dr. Randy Wood said Dr. Don Sewell, his friend of over 40 years, contacted him and asked if the fraternity would help pass out their surplus of hand sanitizer. After a long process of approval from the university, Wood said “over $110,000 worth of product” was delivered on wooden pallets.

“In a year of a pandemic and a year when nobody is getting to do anything, we’re getting to help,” Wood said. “We hope it will help continue to make our campus safe. We are down to around 74 active cases now. I’m ready to see us going down to zero, and maybe this will help us do that. We hope so.”

San Diego senior Christian McSweeny, a Pi Kappa Phi executive, said that in the peak of the pandemic, Baylor Scott & White privately commissioned a whiskey distillery to make hand sanitizer bottles in case of an extreme shortage. Now, with 135,000 extra bottles, they have donated them between 18 school districts and four colleges.

With Baylor being one of them, Pi Kappa Phi is planning on distributing the bottles first to all of Greek life, then to every dorm on campus. McSweeny said they then plan to set up a tent on Fountain Mall next week with a “Free Hand Sanitizer” sign where students can “take as much as they want.”

Wood said he heard that the university was planning on purchasing “7,500 to 10,000 bottles” of hand sanitizer for campus, but with the donation, he is glad that Pi Kappa Phi was “able to help the university in this way.”

“We are trying to continue being a service organization and be out in the community getting involved, even in a time where it’s very difficult,” Wood said.

For some students in Pi Kappa Phi, this is their first fraternity event ever since they were inducted the week before students left for spring break. San Antonio junior Chakkrin Ngamsomjan said he was excited for the chance to get to be with his peers again.

“It’s a great bonding experience,” Ngamsomjan said. “We have all of our guys here helping out. This is a sense of community for us, and we really enjoy helping the community out.”

In addition to the distribution of hand sanitizer on campus, Baylor Pi Kappa Phi is working with the American Cancer Society this October for their first virtual Cattle Baron’s Ball. Wood said the fraternity will be delivering gifts to the donors and will be sure to include a bottle of the donated hand sanitizer in each one.

“We are super excited about this,” McSweeny said. “This is something I think is really great, especially considering we are in the middle of the pandemic. Hopefully, this can alleviate some uncertainty with the times that are going on right now. We just want to do everything we can to help out the Baylor community and to help Waco.”