One of Psi Upsilon's core values is "Service to Others" which we espouse through our philanthropy and community service involvement. We believe that society cannot be a better place just through words, but through actions. For this reason, our chapter supports two main organizations: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Atlanta's own Housing Justice League. As well as these two philanthropies, we also participate in a multitude of other philanthropic and service opportunities. Every semester, Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau brothers and members put environmentalist words into action by holding multiple outings to clean up litter along the Atlanta Beltline, specifically in a portion of the West End line adopted by the fraternity and partnered with Park Pride. Other common service opportunities the chapter takes part in includes Action Ministries food box packing events, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night walks, Food4Life Covid-19 relief specific food packing events/deliveries, as well as local Georgia Tech specific volunteering events. Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau also recognizes that some social issues cannot be fixed just with money or labor, but instead by education and conscious social effort. Every semester, we host presentations by Georgia Tech's VOICE center to educate all of our members about sexual violence. Our goal is to always continue to educate ourselves and strive to create a healthy and inclusive environment for our members as well as in our community.
Official Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau Philanthropies
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau has worked closely with the AFSP for years, raising money and attending their annual Out of the Darkness walk each Fall to advocate for suicide prevention and awareness. For the most recent walk, in the Fall of 2019, the chapter was able to raise over $1100 for the AFSP and had nearly 20 active brothers and pledges in attendance on the day of. We are small but mighty! As well as attending these annual walks, fundraising and advocating for the AFSP, the chapter is working closely with the Georgia regional director to host a Georgia Tech campus wide Out of the Darkness walk in the Spring semesters to further help the organization spread awareness and raise money for suicide and mental health research and programs. This event would have occurred during the Spring of 2020, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we hope to hold our first campus walk in the Spring of 2021.
Housing Justice League
The Housing Justice League (HJL) works with renters and homeowners to self-organize and defend their right to remain. They fight to preserve affordable housing, for just living conditions, to prevent gentrification, and to build community power for an Atlanta-wide housing justice movement. In showing our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau chapter has recently chosen this specific organization to sponsor alongside the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in order to make a larger impact in our local Atlanta community. We plan to specifically tie this in with our love for the Beltline by supporting the Housing Justice League’s Beltline For All campaign to create and maintain affordable housing along the beltline, holding petition signature events, as well as fundraising events for the Housing Justice League as a whole. We are excited for our future in support of this organization.
We believe community service and activism is an important part of our identity at Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau. Being active in our local community is a priority for us, as well as bringing awareness to important issues such and mental health, suicide prevention, and sexual assault. Throughout a typical semester, we often come together as an active brotherhood in support of a few large events or organizations, such as fundraising and participating in walks, or cleaning our adopted section of the beltline. As well as larger events, all brothers are welcome to spearhead service outings as well as take small groups of brothers out to participate in any local volunteer opportunities. Outside of large and small group events, we also believe that all members should be able to volunteer in support of any organizations they are specifically passionate about, not only be limited to the events organized by the Service Chair or VP of External Affairs within the fraternity. Members are free to volunteer on their own at any events or with any organization of their choice, from local animal shelters to local hospitals to planting trees in local parks with Trees Atlanta.
In the year of 2019, the active brotherhood at Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau reported a total of 566 service hours completed, greatly surpassing the then 6 hours per semester requirement for active brothers in a brotherhood with typically 30-35 active members. In the Spring of 2019, 318 service hours were reported, with a majority of the hours done collectively being at Beltline cleanups and Action Ministries lunch packing events (53 hours and 30 hours, respectively). 208 hours in the Spring were reported from individual brothers volunteering with organizations they personally are involved in, such as local school systems and events. In the Fall semester of 2019, 248 hours were completed, with 41 of those hours completed by brothers participating in fundraising and walking for the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk. Another 31 hours were completed in support of the LLS’s Light the Night walk. For the year of 2020, the service hour requirement was increased to 8 hours per semester for active brothers so that we can keep pushing ourselves to contribute more to our local communities. This includes continuing to encourage brothers who are safe and healthy to volunteer locally while we are separated due to the Covid-19 pandemic by donating food, money, and other resources to local groups as well as helping pack and deliver pandemic relief boxes.
In the past year, brothers as well as then pledges at Psi Upsilon Gamma Tau have attended/volunteered together at:
- 2/2/2019: Action Ministries food box/meal kit packing event
- 3/31/2019: Our adopted West End portion of the Atlanta Beltline cleaning trash
- 4/13/2019: East Atlanta Kids Club’s Easter event
- Semesterly: VOICE presentations for sexual and relationship violence prevention
- 4/17/2019: Attended QPR training sessions for suicide crisis response
- 10/5/2019: Fundraised for/Walked in the LLS’s Light the Night walk
- 10/27/2019: Our adopted West End portion of the Atlanta Beltline cleaning trash
- 11/3/2019: Fundraised for/Walked in the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk (over $1100 fundraised)
- 2/27/2020: Rise Against Hunger packing food boxes
- 3/1/2020: Our adopted West End portion of the Atlanta Beltline cleaning trash
- Shortly after this date, the Covid-19 pandemic spread in America and classes were moved online, but brothers were encouraged to continue to support their communities locally.
- 7/26/2020: Food4Life Atlanta Survival Program food box packing event attended by a small group of quarantined brothers living within the Psi Upsilon fraternity house
- Future Events include:
- Possible social distanced litter removals along portions of the Atlanta Beltline
- Virtual fundraising/petition signature events for the Housing Justice League
- 11/8/2020: Fundraising/participating in a virtual Out of the Darkness walk with the AFSP