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Pi Lambda Phi Hosts ‘Burn Away’

Students+preparing+to+roast+their+marshmallows+and+make+S%27mores
Students preparing to roast their marshmallows and make S'mores

Students preparing to roast their marshmallows and make S'mores

Adiba Sikder

Adiba Sikder

Students preparing to roast their marshmallows and make S'mores

Adiba Sikder, Features Editor

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Many students burned away their anxieties and fears on a warm and foggy night at Pi Lambda Phi’s event Burn Away on Miller Lawn on Thursday.

The night started at 9 pm with a huge bonfire and S’mores for students to enjoy and socialize.
After thirty minutes of socializing, the fraternity members handed out pieces of paper for students to write down something they would like to ‘burn away’ and forget about for the rest of the semester.

“Sometimes you just have to let it go. Some students that are super caught up in the political climate and it really affects them, this gives them a chance to write it down and get rid of them,” said Gjek Vukelj, the President of Pi Lambda Phi.

The close-knit circle of people surrounding the bonfire created a calming environment for students to comfortably and openly talk about their fears and anxieties about the upcoming semester and the real world.

“I’m going to physically burn away a lot of the stress that I’ve been dealing with, coming into my fifth year here at Pace. Metaphorically, I would like to burn away the fact that the real world is coming in,” said Kirk Pineda, a student at Pace.

Some students chose to get rid of old prejudices and stereotypes that have haunted them since middle school and high school.

“People always bullied me and called me an Oreo because I was too white to be black and too black to be white. I was always in this middle ground where I didn’t really fit in,” said Joshua Francois, a sophomore at Pace.

For other students, participating in the bonfire helped relieve stress, rather than the physical act of burning the paper.

“Being able to just sit back, relax, roast marshmallows, and watch things burn, with my friends and brothers, makes me feel a little bit better,” said Jeremy Langdale, a member of Pi Lambda Phi.

This event was created to support the fraternity’s philanthropy of the elimination of prejudice by bringing people together and to get the conversations of what those are to each individual started.

“That moment when you write down that prejudice, crumple it up, and throw it into the fire feels good. If we can make other students feel good, for even ten seconds, then we are doing our job,” said Vukelj.

During the last ten minutes of the event, students were asked to create a circle around the bonfire with the pieces of paper in hand by Vukelj and were instructed to throw the pieces of paper in to the fire together.

Students stared in awe and clapped for others who went to throw their piece of paper in to the fire as the fire weakened.

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