Service to all and for all

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  • A member of the Beta Sigma Phi organization holding a note detailing why the winter materials were made on Jan. 16 2022. (Photo/Victoria Fatiregun)

  • Winter materials are huge upon the small buffaloes in front of Old Main on Jan. 16 2022 (Photo/Victoria Fatiregun)

  • Winter materials hung on the bench in front of the Jack. B Kelley Student Center on Jan. 16 2022 (Photo/Victoria Fatiregun)

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Since 2016, the Beta Sigma Phi sorority has gathered every year to hang scarves, hats and other winter clothes to provide for the West Texas A&M University community, as well as others within the Canyon area. The winter materials are knitted by members of the organization, who also have connections to WT. This year, 300 winter materials were made by members of the organization. The most notable members being that of Berlin McIntosh, administrative associate IV and Dr. Jean Stuntz, retired Regents professor of history.

Yarn bombing is the name of the activity and it revolves around placing knitted materials on the outer environment. There are some pictures below to give readers an example of the activity.

Dr. Stuntz speaks of how the yarn bombing began with her and also how she got started with knitting with the Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

“We had a meeting where they taught us how to knit,” Dr. Stuntz said. “I just fell in love and I just started knitting and knitting and knitting. There were several other people who knit and crocheted, and so we decided to do something for students.”

Dr. Stuntz also spoke of the inspiration behind the yarn bombing and how it became a service to the WT community.

“We decided to do yarn bombing, which I had seen different cities do in different ways,” Dr. Stuntz said. “We have been having a lot of fun with it.”

Beth Vizzini, manager of Cornette library and current president of the Texas Xi Alpha Epsilon Phi chapter of Beta Sigma Phi spoke of the need for students to grab some winter items.

“The idea was to provide for the WT community, but we also know that the WT community is also the Canyon community,” Vizzini said. “Our hope is that someday [yarn bombing] will be all across campus.”

Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor Emeritus of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business spoke of yarn bombing and the importance of service.

“Service is important to us,” Dr. Pulliam said. “We have two members that knit a lot; Berlin McIntosh and Jean Stuntz each knitted 125 pieces, and then some other members did some more, so we have about 300.”

The knitted winter clothes are available at the Charles K. and Barbara Kerr Vaughan Pedestrian Mall and also in front of the Old Main steps. The winter materials are available for anyone to pick up, and completely free because it is a service to the WT community in the cold winter months.

If you’d like to donate some yarn or even some knitted materials yourself, the yarn bombing event occurs before the first day of classes at the beginning of the spring semester.

Additionally, if you are interested in joining some of the extra-curricular activities of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, you can contact Beth Vizzini who is the current president of the organization for any questions.

The yarn bombing event is a service to the entire WT community and the Beta Sigma Phi organization encourages the entire community to take a hat or a scarf so that you can keep warm.