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Roof-sit raises scholarship funds

Tori Roeck | Monday, September 19, 2011

This year’s annual Fisher Hall Roof-sit hit close to home for the dorm’s residents.

The dorm’s signature event raised $4,619 for a memorial fund in honor of former Fisher resident Declan Sullivan, rector Fr. Brian Metz said.

Junior Chris Sarkis said the dorm’s residents felt a personal connection to this year’s fundraiser.

“This year, it’s a charity that everyone knows about,” Sarkis said. “All the guys who were freshmen last year and [older residents] knew Declan.”

Sullivan, a student videographer for the football team, died Oct. 27 after the scissor-lift from which he was filming football practice fell.

The Declan Sullivan Memorial Fund supports a full scholarship for a Film, Television and Theatre student who cannot afford to attend Notre Dame. Sarkis, who organized the event with junior Chris Grunewald, said the dorm chose the charity because of its close connection with Fisher Hall.

Between Thursday and Saturday, the men of Fisher Hall spent 50 hours on the dorm’s roof blasting music, wielding bullhorns, collecting money for the foundation and engaging in “good-natured panhandling,” Sarkis said.

Sarkis said the spectacle drew campus visitors to donate.

“Notre Dame people are really great about giving money,” Sarkis said. “With football weekends, there are so many people wandering around campus. We raise more money because people hear about it and want to know what we’re doing with the loud music and the obnoxious things.”

This year’s roof-sit included new events, including Acousticafe on the roof and a showing of the movie “Land Before Time 3,” Grunewald said.

“The more events we can incorporate with the roof-sit, the more successful it is,” he said.

Rockstar Energy Drink and Spikeball, a popular ball game, also sponsored the roof-sit.

More than 100 Fisher residents took shifts on the roof, and Grunewald said a few members of the dorm braved colder temperatures to sleep there overnight.

“A bunch of guys brought out mattresses and sleeping bags,” he said, “and lots of layers and coats.”

The roof-sit began in 2002 in memory of Chad Sharon, a former Fisher resident who died in the same year. Fifty hours were chosen in honor of the dorm’s 50th anniversary in 2002.

Each year, the event benefits a different charity chosen by the students. Last year’s roof-sit earned more than $10,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti.

“It’s grown every year,” Grunewald said.

Grunewald said the roof-sit helps unite an already close-knit dorm.

“It’s events like these where everyone wants to participate that brings Fisher closer together,” he said. “Most Notre Dame students want to contribute to events, but this is a fun event where everyone wants to just hang out with each other … Everyone helps in getting it done.”

In addition to being a serious fundraiser, Sarkis said the roof-sit is something the Fishermen look forward to.

“It’s a total bro-sesh,” he said. “You get to play music. You’re up on the roof dancing, and you’ve got your best friends up there.”