Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. hosted the event, Sleep Out for the Homeless, as part of the fraternity’s national initiative. The fraternity organizes the program to show support for the millions of homeless people in the U.S.
The event started at 9:14 p.m. Tuesday at SASB plaza to celebrate the establishment of the fraternity in 1914.
It lasted until 6 a.m. today. Students slept outside while people could drop by to donate clothes, food and other items. The donations will go to the Inter-Faith Council’s Community House, a homeless shelter located on West Rosemary Street.
Frank Tillman, the president of the fraternity, said this is the third year the chapter has held the event. He said the chapter hosts it at UNC every semester, and last semester about 75 people came to the event.
He said the chapter also has other service events and weekly volunteer activities to help disadvantaged teens throughout the year.
The Xi Gamma Chapter was founded in 1982 at UNC and currently has four members.
Junior Danny Davenport, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., said he attended the event to support fraternity camaraderie. He also said he wanted to show support for those who have to sleep outside everyday.
“I just want to come out and show my support to these matters,” he said.
Davenport also participated in the event last semester. He said, although it’s freezing outside, being able to stay with friends and talk with each other is a valuable experience.
Senior Phi Beta Sigma member Juderius Henderson said the chapter hosts the event because they want to let people know how it feels like to be homeless.
“We want to place ourselves in the places of the homeless, so that’s why we are sleeping out here in the cold, and we are also raising money, canned food, gently worn clothes,” he said.
Although weather was colder this year, he said he expected the same number of people to attend the event as did in the spring because many students pass by the event.
The National Weather Service forecasted that Tuesday night’s temperature would be as low as 42 degrees and there would be patchy fog after 1 a.m.
Tillman said they intentionally pick a colder day to sleep outside.
“What we typically do is that we pick a night that is relatively cold so that we can really, I guess, experience what it would be like to be homeless.”