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Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

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COB students

Beta Alpha Psi students at the food pantry

Photo courtesy of: College of Business

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Beta Alpha Psi holds biannual food drive and toy fundraiser


The Ohio University College of Business Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter once again successfully staged its biannual food drive and Christmas toy fundraiser.

In early November, the national business organization brought in more than 288 bags of food for the food drive and collected more than $1,000 for purchasing Christmas gifts for Athens County children.

BAP allows for student participation in these two community service events in many ways including making the bags for the biannual food drive, hanging bags on doorknobs and then collecting them full of food from Athens' residences, collecting the Christmas donations at College Gate, shopping for gifts, and wrapping the gifts. They have a variety of community service opportunities every year for members to participate in – other events this semester included teaching financial literacy concepts through Accounting for Kids Day at Athens East Elementary School, doing financial literacy presentations in various University College classes for freshmen at Ohio University, participating in Habitat's cardboard city fundraiser, and volunteering in the Puppy Park at the Paw Paw Festival.

"It's a really great thing to do these events," said Aisha Stern, a junior studying Accounting and Strategic Communication. "You get to really make a difference, and see the difference we make with every event we do. Our toy fundraising allowed us to purchase every item on the Christmas lists for 15 kids, and also to send the Friends of Children's Services a check to use where needed in their Santa Tree Project, which is so unbelievably wonderful."

Stern was introduced to Beta Alpha Psi in fall 2011 and was formally initiated into the organization this past fall. She said the varied opportunities that BAP provided were what really drew her, such as hearing from professional accountants from various firms on a weekly basis and doing community service. Beta Alpha Psi is an international honors business organization founded in 1919. Since then, it has chartered 279 active chapters, with Ohio University's Alpha Kappa Chapter being the 33rd chapter.

"We have been doing these events for many years and they are both annual traditions for Beta Alpha Psi," said Connie Esmond-Kiger, the advisor for BAP and professor in the School of Accountancy. "We do the Food Drive now twice a year since moving to semesters and did it three times when on quarters. It is a great feeling to see the shelves in the food pantry full when we finish sorting and stocking the items we collect each semester. The best thing about our approach to the food drive is that it results in a collection of unique items that people normally cannot afford or have access to since they are not normally distributed by the food banks."

According to BAP's national website, in addition to the high academic standards members are held to, such as an attainment of a 3.00 cumulative GPA, the organization strives for "a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility."

"Beta Alpha Psi puts a big emphasis on doing community service, which is part of why we do these events," Stern said. "But I think we also do this because we feel that we have an obligation to give back to the community and town that gives us a home for four, or more, years. This is our way of being good citizens of Athens."