ASG, DU organize open mic night to raise money for Sandy-affected

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government partnered with Delta Upsilon fraternity Friday night to host an open mic night benefiting those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“One Night Stand,” Friday’s event at the DU house, marked the first fundraising event put on by Cats Care, the new emergency response team housed under ASG. About 20 students, many of whom were DU brothers, attended.

Attendees were asked to pay $5 at the door to benefit Project Sandy, a program under Cats Care that will benefit the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and several local relief efforts, including Restore the Shore.

Medill sophomore Quinn Murphy became involved with Cats Care after ASG President Victor Shao approached her when he heard about her efforts on campus to raise funds for Sandy. Murphy’s hometown, Long Island, N.Y., was heavily affected by the storm’s destruction. She said in talking with other NU students from the East Coast, she realized many felt “helpless” in contributing to relief efforts. After becoming involved with Cats Care, she assisted in planning the event and also performed, singing “Hey There Delilah” and playing guitar.

“This is a way for the greater Northwestern community to help out without actually being there,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s was one of several performances, ranging from alternative rock to a capella songs. Communication senior Matthew Rueger played the drums at the event and said he was encouraged to participate by his brothers in DU. Rueger is also from Long Island and said his town was very damaged during the storm.

“It was the best way for me to give back to a good cause I was personally affected by,” Rueger said.

Shao, also a DU brother, said the event was planned in about a week because the organization wanted to have a “quick turnaround.” He said he was not discouraged by the event’s low attendance.

“This is just one event,” Shao said. “It’s all about how much support we can raise and how much we can fundraise in the end.”

Shao said ASG will host many more fundraising events for Project Sandy  following Thanksgiving break, while the disaster is still on students’ minds. He said plans are currently in the works for a basketball tournament co-sponsored by the NU chapter of Red Cross and a benefit concert that will feature acts from across campus, including bands and performance groups.

Shao explained that Cats Care was developed to have a system in place to respond immediately to disasters like Sandy.

“A lot of aid is needed now,” Shao said. “The goal is to create an infrastructure so that we can respond as soon as a disaster hits.”