University police officer Frank Herrera was one of seven officers who volunteered to be in the dunk tank. | Iliana Arroyos/Mustang News

Olivia Proffit

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Phi Sigma Kappa raised more than $1,000 at its latest philanthropy event “Dunk a Cop” this past Thursday to sponsor an athlete in next year’s Special Olympics.

“Dunk a Cop” is a new event for the fraternity this year. Anybody could participate by purchasing T-shirts and the opportunity to sink one of the seven participating University Police Department (UPD) officers.

Phi Sigma Kappa had been interested in supporting the Special Olympics for as long as fraternity president Karim Dudum has been involved. According to Dudum, a biomedical engineering senior, the fraternity thought the support could be possible this year with the help of newly appointed philanthropy chair and software engineering junior Deniz Tumer.

The idea came about last summer after seeing the Virginia Commonwealth University chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma’s success with hosting the same event. Other fraternity chapters across the nation have hosted the event as well.

Still, it wasn’t easy to bring it to Cal Poly.

It took Cal Poly’s Phi Sigma Kappa three and a half months to plan. Tumer talked to the police about the event for weeks. UPD was hesitant at first, but they finally agreed and ended up having a great time with everybody, watching and taking Snapchats.

“Seeing everyone walk by and notice the event was the best part,” Dudum said. “The event is just really different.”

The fraternity chose to host “Dunk a Cop” to raise money and bring UPD and the Cal Poly community together to help combat the negative stigma associated with police officers.

“We wanted to bridge that gap and show that police officers are humans, too, and they like having a good time,” Dudum said. “They’re literally just trying to protect us.”

The fraternity was hoping to raise $2,500 for the Special Olympics. They raised a total of $1,146.60.

“It was extremely successful and incredibly fun,” Tumer said. “All of the officers and everybody who came out had a great time.”

Phi Sigma Kappa hopes to host “Dunk a Cop” for years to come. Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey also expressed interest in being in the dunk tank for next year’s event, Tumer said.

“Everybody already wants to dunk police officers, but having the president come down would make the event even better,” Dudum said.

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